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ISSUE #467 
USA $3.95 
CANADA $4.95 

Art Bell W60BB Gets Ready for Y2K 



Exciters and Receivers provide high quality nbfrn 
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T301 VHF Exciter: for various bands 139-174MHz, 
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• Wiredrtested, ind TCXO $189 

T304 UHF Exciter: vanous 
bands 400-470 MHz. *J 

• Kit (4*0-450 ham tunl on*) 

ind TCXO ..$143 

• Wired/tested ,.$189 

Very sensitive - O.^iV* 

Superb selectivity, >W0dB down at ±12 kHz, best 

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R301 VHF Receiver various bands 139-1 74MHz, 

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R304 UHF Receiver: 
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• Kit (440-450 ham band only) 

inci TCXO ..$179 

• Wired/tested,. $209 


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• TA451: for 420-475 MHz kit $99, w/t $169 

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a R4S1 FM RCVR, tor 42CM75 MHz. Similar to R 100 
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- R901 FM RCVR, 902-928MHZ $159, wft $219 


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* Available for 28-30, 46-56, 137-152, 152-172, 210- 
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• Decoder can be used to mute receive audio and is 
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access. High pass filter gels rid of annoying rcvr buzz. 

• TD-5 CTCSS Encoder/Decoder Kit now only $29 

• TO^S CTCSS Encoder/Decoder Wired/tested $49 




v i - 1 p, | , 



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Covers ail 5 satellite channels. Scanner Circuit & recorder 
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satellites pass overhead, even while away from home. 

See product review with actual satellite pictures in June 
1999 GST. along with info on software and antennas. 

• R139 Receiver Kit less case r $159 

■ R139 Receiver Kit with case and AC power adapter 5189 

• Rf 39 Receiver w/t in case with AC power adapter $239 

• Internal PC Demodulator Board & Imaging Software $239 

■ Turnstile Antenna ,,.1119 

• Weather Satellite Handbook ,.$20 


Get time & frequency checks 

without buying muttlband hf 

rcvr. Hear solar activity reports 

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Very sensitive and selective 

crystal controlled superhet dedicated to listening to WWV 

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- RWWV Rcvr kit. PCB anJy „ „, $59 

• RWWV Rcvr kit vwmcabtspfcr. 4 1ZVdc adapter S89 

• RWWV Rcvr wrtiicabt*i1hsr^& adapter . $129 

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A microprocessor-controlled repeater with full 

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TD-2, Four-digit DTMF decoder/controller. Five latching 
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mule speaker until someone pages you .. ... kit $49. 


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Supremo & Founder 
Wayne Green W2NSD/1 

Associate Publisher 
F. I. Manon 

Associate Technical Editor 
Larry Antonuk WB9RRT 

Nitty Gritty Stuff 
Jh Clayton Burnett 
Prise ilia Gauvin 
Joyce Sawtelle 

Contributing Culprits 
Bill Brown WB8ELK 
Mike Bryce WB8VGE 
Joseph E. Can K4IPV 
Michael Geier KB1UM 
Jim Gray W1XU/7 
Jack Heller KB7NO 
Chuck Houghton WB6IGP 
Dr Marc Leavey WA3AJR 
Andy MacANister W5ACM 
Dave Miller NZ9E 
Joe Moell KOQV 
Steve Mowak KE8YN/5 
Carole Perry WB2MGP 

Advertising Sales 

Frances Hyvarinen 
Roger Smith 
Fax: 603-924-8613 


Linda Coughlan 

Data Entry & Other Stuff 
Chrfstine Aubert 

Norman Marion 

ISSUE #467 

Radio Today 




10 PIC Key. PIC Key — UYSDJ 

77ms simple CW keyer is a great way to learn about PICs. 

16 Y2K Portable J-Pole — WA8TXT 

What emergency will you need to handle? 

1 9 Defogging Microstrips — WA9PYH 

An intro to microstiipline filters. 

26 Secrets of Transmission Lines — KE2QJ 

Part 2: Review of AC fundamentals. 

30 Getting Your Foot in the Public Service Door — KN4HL 
Here's how to get your dub involved — and appreciated. 

32 Simple RF Signal Generator — W4LJD 
Add this handy piece of test gear to your bench. 

38 Simple Direct-Conversion Receiver — Sellen 

For QRPers and receiver aficionados in general. 



Above & Beyond 


Ad Index 


Barter n' Buy 





The Digital Port 






Homing fn 





Never Say Die 


New Products 



On the Go 




WB8VGE 53 





Radio Bookshop 

Business Office 

Edilonal - Advertising - Circulation 

Feedback - Product Reviews 

73 Amateur Radio Today Magazine 

70 Hancock Rd 

Peterborough NH 03450*1107 


Fax; 603-924*861 3 

Reprints: S3 per article 
Back issues: $5 each 

Printed in the USA 

Manuscripts; Contributions for" 
possible publication are most 
welcome. We'll do the best we can to 
return anything you request, but we 
assume no responsibility for loss 
or damage. Payment for submned 
articles wilt be made after publication 
Please submit both a disk and a 
hard copy Of your arfocte [IBM (Ok) 
or Mac (preferred) formats). carefuBy 
checked drawings and schematics, 
and the clearest best focused and 
lighted photos you can manage. How 
to write for 73 r guidelines are available 
on request US Citizens, please 
include your Social Security number 
with submitted manuscripts so we can 
jsubmit n t o you know who. 

Web Page 


On the cover; See Wayne T s editorial beginning on page 4 for more on W60BB. We are always 
looking for interesting articles and cover photos — with or without each other Your name could be in 
this space next month, and our check could be on its way to you! You couldn't use a little extra cash? 

Feedback: Any circuit works better with feedback, so please take the time to report on 
how much you like, hate, or don't care one way or the other about the articles and 
columns in this issue. G = great!, O = okay, and U = ugh. The G's and O's will be 
continued. Enough ITs and it's Silent Keysviile, Hey, this is your communications 
medium, so don't just sit there scratching your.. ,er„. head. FYI: Feedback "number" is 
usually the page number on which the article or column starts. 

73 Amateur Radio Today (ISSN 1052-2522) is published monthly by 73 Magazine, 70 N2Q£. Peterborough NH 
03458-1107, The entire contents Oi999 by 73 Magazine. No part of this publication Marchbe reproduced 
without written permission of the publisher, which is not all that difficult to get. The subscription rate is: one 
year S24.97, two years S44.97; Canada: one year $34.21, two years $57.75, includmg postage and 7% GST. 
Foreign postage: $19 surface. S42 airmail additional per year, payable in US funds on a US bank. Second 
class postage is paid at Peterborough, NH, and at additional mailing offices. Canadian second class mail 
registration #178101. Canadian GST registration #125393314. Microfilm edition: University Microfilm. Ann 
Arbor Ml 4BtQ6. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 73 Amateur Radio Today, 70 Hancock Rd, T 
Peterborough NH 03456-1107. 73 Amateur Radio Today is owned by Shabromat Way Ltd- of Hancock NH, 

Contract: By being so nosey as to read this fine print, you have just entered into a binding agreement with 73 
Amateur Radio Today. You are hereby obligated to do something nice for a ham Friend— buy him a subscription 
to 73. What? All of your ham friends are already subscribers? Donate a subscription to your local school Irbrary! 

Numbtr 1 on \ 


Neuer srv die 

Wayne Green W2NSD/1 

Art Bell W60BB 

You probably don't spend 
much lime listening to AM 
radio. But if you do, and 
you've ever luned in at night, 
you've heard Art's coast-to- 
coast talk show "from the 
Kingdom of Nye** all up and 
down your dial. That's Nye 
County, Nevada, by the way. 

In the East, his show is on 
the air five nights a week 
from 1 until 6 AM, which 
means that if you're a 9-to- 
5er, unless you turn on your 
radio during a sandbox visit, 
you* 11 probably never hear 
him, I keep a little Sony ICF- 
SWl,a 3" x4" x 1" allband 
digital radio, by my bed, so 
all it takes is a push of the on- 
off button and I'm listening 
to WITH out of Philadelphia 
on 121 0, New York's WABC 
on 770, or WTAM Detroit on 

On weekends, the show is a 
little shorter and consists 
mostly of repeats of his best 

The usual format has a 
news broadcast for about 8 
minutes on the hour and half 
hour. The first hour of Art's 
show has him bringing you 
up to date on some of the lat- 
est happenings he thinks you'll 
want to know about. That's 
usually followed by listener 
call-ins, where they can discuss 
whatever they want. The next 
four hours normally feature 
an interview with a guest, and 
Art's been able lo get some 
fascinating guests. 1 know I've 
learned a lot from them — and 
so have you, via my resulting 

The topics covered are all 
over the lot — those strange 
contrails that are making us 

4 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

sick, time travel, UFOs, con- 
tactees, alien technology, a 
space hotel in the works, 
those incredible crop patterns, 
ghosts, reverse speech, remote 
viewing, Area 51 visits, and so 

No, of course I don't sit up 
five hours a night so I won't 
miss anything. I record the 
program every night. And 
you should be doing this, too. 
All you need is a cable be- 
tween your AM radio and a 
VCR and you're in business. 
For the technically chal- 
lenged, 1 have my $5 Wayne 
Green's Bell Saver Kit (see p. 
63) that includes the needed 
cable and complete instruc- 
tions on connecting it and 
programming your VCR. In 
this way, you can listen to the 
show when it's convenient for 
you. You can fast forward 
through anything that doesn't 
interest you (like the news- 
casts). When there's a phone 
number or Web site address 
you want to note, you can re- 
wind and get it. And if there's 
a guest you want to listen to 
again, or want lo play for 
someone else to hear, you can 
save the tape, keeping a note 
of the time on the tape that 
you want to find, I have sev- 
eral boxes of tapes I've saved 
for reference. They're not 
quite as handy as books, but 
if you keep an index in your 
computer, they're easy lo 
find. The T-120 tapes will 
record 6 hours, and you can 
find 'em for a buck, if you 
watch the ads. 

Art is seriously geared up 
for the Y2K crisis, with an 
emergency generator, solar 
power, and wind power 
backup. You'll be hearing 
W60BB on the bands even if 

the power grid goes down for 

Art does his program from 
his home in Pahrump, Ne- 
vada. You can watch him do 
the show, if you're up, via 
video on www.arlbeihcom. 
You can also listen to it via 
his Web site and see a list of 
his coming and past guests. If 
you look me up you'll see 
that I've been a guest five 
times and we've talked about 
all sorts of things. You can even 
listen to these past shows* 

I'm anxious to be on more 
so that we can talk up ama- 
teur radio and encourage more 
people to come into the 
hobby. Well the ARRL doesn't 
seem to be doing a damned 
thing, so someone has to do it. 


The number of new li- 
censes issued in January has 
dropped by almost 50% in the 
last two years. Hey, get out 
some graph paper and plot it 
for yourself. Plot 1553-1053- 
871 for the last three years 
and see where things are 
heading! The line hits zero 
around 2010. 

The situation isn't any bet- 
ter when it comes to up- 
grades, either. They, too, are 
down 50% in the last two 

Unless you can somehow 
force your ARRL director to 
make the League honor its re- 
sponsibility to preserve the 
hobby, it looks like we're 
crashing and burning. 

Why am I leaning so hard 
on the ARRL about this? 
Well, there are only two other 
interested parties, the FCC and 
the ham manufacturers* As 
far as the FCC is concerned, 

amateur radio is an expensive 
nuisance, and the ham manu- 
facturers are unorganized and 
apparently uninterested in 
whether the hobby continues 
or noL 

Thus, whether amateur ra- 
dio survives this crisis or not 
seems totally dependent on 
the ARRL taking some seri- 
ous action* If they can't be 
forced to start promoting the 
hobby, we be gone. 

There isn't any big secret 
about what needs to be done. 
I've written about it enough 
times, so I won't rehash my 
advice. Mostly, the League 
needs to figure out how to re- 
build the high school radio 
club infrastructure they wiped 
out in 1964. That was our 
largest source of new hams. 

It's going to be tough, for 
in addition to sports and TV, 
now we've got the Internet as 
a competitor for the teenag- 
ers. The League has to get kids 
to think of ham radio as cool. 
Now, there's a challenge! 

A Slight Tinkering 

With the ARRL member- 
ship dropping almost 10% 
(plummeting) in the last year, 
with QST shrinking; with man- 
ufacturers and dealers going 
out of business all around the 
country; with the number of 
new Techs dropping about 
30% in the last two years; 
with the number of Techs up- 
grading to General dropping 
even faster, 1 then look over 
the ARRL's comments to the 
FCC on restructuring the 
hobby and all I see them rec- 
ommending is a slight tinker- 
ing. What does it take to get 
alarm bells to go off in the 
atrophied brains of the direc- 
tors you keep on blindly 

For that matter, what is it 
going to take to get our old- 
timers to recognize that the 
world has changed and that if 
amateur radio is going to sur- 
vive, it has to change, too? 
I'm talking major changes, 
not tinkering. 

Fifty years ago, amateur ra- 
dio made a lot of sense as a 
service. In addition to provid- 
ing engineers and technicians 

Continued on page 41 

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Professional synthesized FM 
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CLPA, Matching Case Set tor LPA-1 Kit S14.95 

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FM Station 



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IjKK ■ ■ ■ 

Number 6 on your Feedback card 

FCC Sets New Vanity Fee 

The cost of getting a vanity callsign is going 
up — but only a dollar. This as the FCC raises 
the fee to apply for an amateur radio vanity 
callsign from SI 3 to $1 4 slatting September 10th. 

By the way, the vanity callsign system is still 
gaining in popularity, The FCC says that it receives 
in excess of a thousand vanity applications per 

Thanks to the FCC. via Newsline, Bill 
Pasternak WA6ITF editor 

Speaking of Which ... 

Readers of our ORX column, along with many, 
many thousands of listeners elsewhere, via re- 
peater, are well familiar with Newsline, amateur 
radio's hard-working, not-for-profit, totally inde- 
pendent nonbiased news service, Well, although 
they haven't requested us to do so. we are here 
to ask you to lend them a hand financially. 

Like most nonprofits of this type t they face a 
constant battle in making ends meet in order to 
provide their valuable service. So whaddya say? 
Lets help them start out the new millennium on 
solid footing by making as large a contribution 
as you can to: Newsline Support Fund, Post Of- 
fice Box 660937. Arcadia CA 91066. Be sure to 
mention that youYe a 73 reader, too, so we can 
show them how much our folks care about the 

They'll thank you, well thank you, and so will 
believers in a free press everywhere ... Please 
do it today, while you're thinking about it. 

Abbott and Costeilo 
Meet Windows 

Costeilo: Hey, Abbott! 

Abbott: Yes. Lou? 

Costeilo: {just got my first computer, 

Abbott: That's great, Lou. What did you get? 

Costeilo: A Pentium 11-286, with 40 megs of 
RAM, a 2. 1 gig hard drive, and a 24x CD-ROM. 

Abbott: That's terrific. Lou. 

Costeilo: But I don Tf know what any of it means! 

Abbott: You will in time. 

Costeilo: That's exactly why Tm here to see 

Abbott: Oh? 

Costeilo: t heard that you're a real computer 

Abbott: Well, I don't know... 

Costeilo: Yes-sir-ee. You know your stuff . And 
you're going to train me. 

Abbott: Really? 

Costeilo: Uh-huh. And I am here for my first 

6 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

Abbott: OK t Lou. What do you want to know? 

Costetlo: I am having no problem turning it on. 
but t heard that you should be very careful how 
you turn it off. 

Abbott: That's true. 

Costeilo: So. here I am working on my new 
computer, and I want to turn it off: What do I do? 

Abbott: Weil, first you click the Start icon, and 
then ... 

Costeilo: No, I told you I want to turn it off. 

Abbott: I know, you click the Start icon. 

Costeilo: Wait a second, t want to turn it off. t 
know how to start it. So tell me what to do. 

Abbott: 1 did, 

Costeilo: When? 

Abbott: When I told you to click the Start icon, 

Costeilo: Why should I click the Start icon? 

Abbott: To shut off Ihe computer, 

Costeilo: I click Start to stop? 

Abbott: Well, Start doesn't actually stop the 

Costeilo: I knew itf So what do I click? 

Abbott: Start. 

Costeilo: Start what? 

Abbott: Start icon. 

Costeilo: Start icon to do what? 

Abbott: Shut down. 

Costefio: You don't have to get rude! 

Abbott: No, no, nof Thats not what 1 meant, 

Costeilo: Then say what you mean, 

Abbott: To shut down the computer, click ... 

Costeilo: Don r t say 'Start"! 

Abbott: Then what do you want me to say? 

Costeilo: Look, if I want to turn off the com- 
puter, I'm willing to click the Stop button, the End 
button, and the Cease and Desist button, but no 
one in their right mind clicks the Start to stop. 

Abbott: But that's what you do. 

Costeilo: And you probably go at Stop signs, 
and stop at green lights. 

Abbott: Don't be ridiculous. 

Costeilo: I'm being ridiculous? Well, I think ifs 
about time we started this conversation. 

Abbott: What are you talking about? 

Costeilo: I am starting this conversation right 
now. Good-bye! 

Thanks to the September 1998 electronic is- 
sue of the TSRC Monitor the newsletter of the 
Twin States Radio Club, Mike Maynard 
WB1 GRR. editor, via the November 1 998 ARNS 


Floating around the Internet (brace yourself): 

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilfy r but 
when they fit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving 
once and for all that you can't have your kayak 
and heat it too. 

Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina, 

One went to Hollywood and became a famous 
actor The other stayed behind in the cotton fields 
and never amounted to much. The second one, 
naturally, became known as the lesser of two 

A neutron goes into a bar and asks the bar- 
tender, k How much for a beer?" The bartender 
replies, "For you f no charge." 

Two atoms are walking down the street and 
they run into each other. One says to the other 
"Are you all right?" u No. I tost an electron!" "Are 
you sure?" Teah, I'm positive!^ 

Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused 
his dentists Novocain during root canal work? 
He wanted to transcend dental medication. 

A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a 
hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing 
their recent tournament victories. After about an 
hour the manager came out of the office and 
asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, 
as they moved off. 'Because," he said, 1 canl 
stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyerf 

A doctor made it his regular habit to stop off at 
a bar for a hazelnut daiquiri on his way home. 
The bartender knew of his habit, and would al- 
ways have the drink waiting at precisely 5:03 p.m. 
One afternoon, as the end of the workday ap- 
proached, the bartender was dismayed to find 
that he was out of hazelnut extract. Thinking 
quickly, he threw together a daiquiri made with 
hickory nut and set it on the bar. The doctor came 
in at his regular time, took one sip of the drink 
and exclaimed, This isn't a hazelnut daiquiri^ 
'Wo. I'm sorry," replied the bartender, "ifs a 
hickory daiquiri, doc. " 

A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle 
looking for something to eat. He came across 
two men, One was sitting under a tree and read- 
ing a book; the other was typing away on his type- 
writer, The lion quickly pounced on the man 
reading the book and devoured him. Even the king 
of the jungle knows readers digest and writers 

There was a man who entered a local paper's 
pun contest. He sent in ten different puns, in the 
hope that at ieast one of the puns would win, 
Unfortunately, no pun in ten did. 

A guy goes to a psychiatrist. u Doc. I keep hav- 
ing these alternating recurring dreams. First l r m 
a teepee, then Tm a wigwam, then I'm a teepee r 
then lm a wigwam. It's driving me crazy. What's 
wrong with me?" The doctor replies: It's very 
simple. YouVe two tents." 

A woman has twins and gives them up for 
adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt 
and is named "Emai. ■ The other goes to a family 
in Spain; they name him "Juan. " Years later. Juan 
sends a picture of himself to his birth mom. Upon 
receiving the picture, she tells her husband that 
she wishes she also had a picture of EmaL Her 
husband responds, 'But they're twins— if you've 
seen Juan, youve seen Emal m 

Thanks (we think) to the September 1998 is- 
sue of the SCCARA-GRAM, the newsletter of the 
Santa Clara County ARA, Gary Mitchell 
WS6YRU, editor, via the February 1999 ARNS 

Eye halve a spelling chequer 
It came with my pea sea 
It plainly marques four my revue 
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea. 

Eye strike a key and type a whirred 
And weight tour it two say 
Weather eye am wrong oar write 
It shows me strait a weigh. 

As soon as a mist ache is maid 
It nose bee fore two long 
And eye can putt the air oar rite 
Its rarely ever wrong. 

Eye have run this poem threw it 
Eye am shore your pleased two no 
Its let her pun fad in it's weigh 
My chequer tolled me sew, 

— Sauce unknown 

We adapted this from the February 1999 
ABNS Bulletin, reprinted from the November 
1 998 issue of the PeconicARC Newsletter, Ralph 
Grover NS2S, editor 


Remember Tom Swifties? Well, here are a few 
to keep you up late at night gagging. 

*l cant believe I ate the whole pineapple!" said 
Tom dolefully. 

That's the last time I ever pet a lionr said 
Tom offhandedly. 

ill never sit on the tracks again," Tom said 
beside himself. 

"That's the third electric shock I've gotten this 
week," Tom said, revolted. 

Tin never anywhere on lime," Tom related. 

There is more than one way to skin a cat," 
Tom deferred. 

That car you sold me has defective steering-" 
Tom said, straightforwardly, 

I've been on a diet," Tom expounded. 

"I'll have to send that message again, 11 Tom | 
said remorsefully. 

"I keep banging my head on things," Tom said 

"Look at that jailbird climb down the wall," Tom 
observed with condescension, 

"f remember the Midwest being flatter than 
this," Tom explained. 

"I'll have to dig another ditch around the 
castfe,™ Tom sighed, remotely. 

Tve lived through a lot of wind storms," Tom 

Thaf s the third time my teacher has changed 
my grade,* Tom remarked. 

"I haven't caught a fish ail day/ Tom sakJ with* 
out debate. 

That mink coat is on wrong side out/ Tom 

Continued on page 37 

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73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 7 


Number 8 on your Feedback card 

From the Ham Shack 

Ronald Stier VV9ICZ, 
Carme) IN. While scanning 
your July editorial, I hit upon 
your request for input on the 


A long story short: Two years 
ago, I began to pursue my de- 
sign and buildup ol a digital 
transmitter and receiver, M\ in- 


tent was to provide a retirement 
income. A couple of boards and 
many hours of software later, I 
saw the Kachina ad. Subse- 
quently there was a review in 
your publication. Some addi- 
tional reading at the Kachina 
Weh site convinced me to put 
the hoards on the junk pile and 
go after the unit. It is a great 

Comparison testing with my 
Kenwood 940 provided read- 
able signals that probahK never 
got past the first stage of the 
Kenwood. The unit can be 
brought up quickly without 
knowing all of the bells and 
whistles. The software provides 
intuitive use. I did not net the 
hand-tuning knob and at this 
point see no reason to do so. 

Since obtaining the unit, T 
have obtained two software up- 
grades from the Kachina Web 
site. Both have provided good 
improvements. The Web provides 
in-dcplh technical documentation 
on all aspects of the unit. It is 
heavy reading and requires good 
technical background. 

One area that I would like to 
see improved is the automatic 
antenna tuner. In theory, it pro- 
vides a wide range for match- 
ing. In practice, it does not. and 
I use my handy-dandy antenna 
tuner. The Smith chart readings 
and their retention make it very 
easy to readjust my vertical. 

Wayne, I don*t wish to bore 
you further, but I wanted to re- 
spond to your request because I 
think that the Kachina will be 
at my station for a long lime. 

Here are some user comments 
I picked up from the Kachina 

Weh site (www.kachina-a'Z* 
com), If they f d get it so it would 
work with a Mac instead of a 
(ugh!) PC t I *d get one in a blink. 
I've been asking in my editori- 
als for user comments on any 
new equipment anyone has fried 
and liked, hut with few takers. 
Maybe this will chum the wa- 
ters. ... Wayne. 

Jim K2ZF. I have had my 
Kachina a mondi now and am 
jumping for joy. It is truly one 
of the best radios I have ever 
owned. I have two other rigs sit- 
ting here on my desk and have 
not turned one of them on since 
I have received this radio, just 
amazing! The receiver is not 
deaf, it hears everything. I am 
CW-only here and am very criti- 
cal about the CW performance 
of my radios. 1 have been known 
to buy a radio and sell it a few 
months later, not this one! One 
great radio, guys. 

David WB2KTM- The ser- 
vice and wonderful way you 
trcai Kachina owners is a breath 
of fresh air in this day and age. 
1 know 1 will never regret my 
choice of new equipment upon 
returning to amateur radio after 
four years away from our hobby. 
I will be a proud 505DSP owner 
in my retirement years. Keep up 
the good work. 

Steven Weinstein K2VYE. 
Greetings, I have had my 
5Q5DSP for about 6 months 
now. li\s an amazing piece of 
equipment. I just worked a 3B 
on 40 meters with one call. I 
could barely hear him on my old 
rig. He was perfect copy on the 

Ward Trammel 1 WA5RD. 
The radio is a joy to operate. My 
amateur radio love at present is 
the digital modes, primarily 
FACTOR. The built-in digital 
filters make this operation the 

easiest I have ever worked, and 
my RTTY operation dates back 
to 1948 as a Navy radioman. I 
like the radio so much, my old 
rig is for sale. 

Donald Urbjtes W8LGV. 1 
believe this radio is the best on 
the market today, and 1 am 
proud to own a radio of this 
quality. Please keep up the good 
w r ork. 

Bob Rescomsin W1TRF* 
There's just no wav that 1 can 
tell you how happy I am, not 
only with m\ Kachina. but also 
with the response I've had w ith 
everyone out there. The radio is 
outstanding, and the organiza- 
tion is super! 

Jon Englert N20SZ, I ve 

been meaning to write you for a 
very long time. First of all. I 
enjoy reading your editorials 
very much — keep up the good 
work. Also, you have been 
somewhat of an inspiration to 
me, I used to smoke rwo packs 
of cigarettes a day and did vir- 
tually nothing else. I quit smok- 
ing three Years a^o, now work 
out four times a week a\k\ run 
6.5 miles five days a week. I am 
forty-three years old and have 
more energy than I did when I 
w ? as twenty years old- 1 am run- 
ning in 5k races now and com- 
ing close to placing. Can't 
imagine I would ever be doing 

This summer, I picked up 
some old ham magazines at the 
local hamfest. Thev are mosilv 
from the late fifties and earlv 
sixties. What surprises me the 
most is what hams were argu- 
ing about back then. The same 
stuff tiiey argue about now! For 
instance, how high the words- 
per-mi nines | should be] to keep 
away the "lids"; taking away 
band space from undeserving 
Novices: I build therefore fm 
better (Did these old guys really 
build that much?). You could 
probably print these same letters 
in your mag today, change the 
dates, and nobody would know 
the difference. 

You are right, something 
needs to be done to keep this 
great hobby alive. Not a day 

goes by that I don't devote at 
least a little thought to what I 
could he doing to advance the 
hobbv. 1 don't think 1 would be 
giving much thought to it if not 
for your editorials. You keep 
writing and I'll keep thinking of 
things I can do. 

By the way, I made Extra us- 
ing your code tapes, not Brand X, 

Okay\ if you insist, I'll keep 
writing. And you're right about 
the '50s hams not building. We 
built in the *3Qs because there 
were no commercially made 
transmitters, but we didn *t know 
what we were doing. ... Wayne. 

Teal Powell Vallejo CA. 1 
love reading your Never Say 
Die. Some powder for your tire- 
Clicker: In Marin county (one 
of the richest counties in the 
state), there is a town called 
Sausalito. Anyway, they spend 
more than twice as much per 
student than the average — 
$13,000 — and they are in the 
bottom YQ9t of the state results- 
wise. My point is that money 
doesn't buy an education' Keep 
up your good work. 

Anyone who buys the 
teacher *s union mantra about 
there being any correlation be- 
tween school costs and SAT 
scores needs to read Inside 
American Education by Thomas 
Soweli which f review in my 
Secret Guide to Wisdom. ... 

Ben Alabastro VV1VM, 
Rutland VT, Alter not receiv- 
ing the mysterious April 1999 
issue of your magazine, I almost 

got mad and wanted to cancel 
my subscription. But then 1 
would be sorry. And then I 
would feel bad. And then I 
would have to beg to re-sub- 
scribe. And then 1 would be at 
ymr mercy. And then I would 
have to send you six QSL cards 
to beg you to let me re-sub- 
scribe. And then I would be 
sad if you didn't, So vou see. 
by not having an April 1999 
edition of your mag, I can still 
read h and not lose any sleep 
over the matter. 

■ ep 

8 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

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Number 10 on your Feedback carxi 

PIC Key, PIC Key 

This simple CW keyer is a great way to learn about PICs. 

Do you recall ihis phrase: 
"These simple projects .should 
whet your appetite to learn 

more about ihe Utile PIC microcontrol- 
lers you see so frcqucntK"? This com- 
ment preceded the article "Using PIC 
Microcontrollers in Amateur Radio 
Projects," by John Hansen W2FS, in 
the October 1998 issue of QST. This 
prediction was certainly true for me! 
Before reading that article, I was not at 
all familiar with PIC microcontrollers, 
To me. they were terra incognita. But 
the article encouraged me to begin 
learning about PICs by experimenting 
with programming and by producing 
my first projects. This article is a direct 
result of John Hansen's prediction. 

PIC microcontrollers, a new genera- 
lion of electronic components* provide 
us with fascinating possibilities of 
eliminating early-on rather huge num- 
bers of discrete elements by utilizing 
the power of programming to provide 
needed functions. The large printed 
circuit board, w ith its multiple conduc- 
tors performing functional connections 
between parts of schematics, is sup- 
planted by an invisible program stored in 
memory inside a single, small chip. The 
small si/e of a circuit board containing a 

single PIC microcontroller, along with 
a very few discrete components to ac- 
complish input/output functions, belies 
the latent power of the program stored 
within the PIC, 

The main challenge for the PIC de- 
signer is to create a program to imple- 
ment tlie project idea- This is a daunting 
tlrst-titnc task — at least it seems so be- 
fore you begin your study of microcon- 
trollers. I have found that the best way 
to study is learning-by-doing. To begin 
with, all you need for your home les- 
sons is David Benson's book (see 
Notes at end of article). This easy-to- 
understand manual will introduce you 
to PIC microcontrollers from the i aside, 
Stepping from page to page, you will ac- 
quire increasing ability by learning to 
write simple programs and then check- 
ing them with the MPLAB media (see 
Notes) , 

Algorithm of simple keyer program 

Let's review how an ordinan kever 
works. Let's assume that the keycr's 
output is connected to the transmitter 
keying circuitry. Inputs are connected 
to the left and right contacts of the 
keyer's paddle. Normally, the keyer is 
I, in the idle condition; The output is 

Vladimir A. Skrypnik UY5DJ 

Pravdinska - 58 

Kharkiv - 1 07 

Ukraine -310107 

[uy 5dj @] 

open (or high) and (he transmitter is 
not activated. When the operator 
presses the paddle handle to the "Dot" 
contact, the output becomes active and 
drives either a relay or a transistor con- 
necting the keying circuit to ground 
and the transmitter starts sending a 
Morse code dot. The keyer supplies the 
appropriate length of the dot. as well 
as a pause in sequence. The durations 
of both the dot and the pause are equal, 
When the paddle returns to the neutral 
position, the keyer, once again, as- 
sumes the idle condition. If the paddle 
is pressed and held in the "Dot" posi- 
tion, the keyer performs a precise se- 
ries of dots and pauses. The same is true 
when the operator presses the paddle 
in the "Dash" position. However, the 
length of a dash is three times longer 
than the length of a dot. 

Forming precise dots, dashes, and 
pauses, as described above, will be ac- 
complished by the PICs program, and 
a coherent microcontroller program 
must have a coherent plan: such a plan 
is generally called an algorithm. Fig, 1 
depicts the algorithm for our project 
keyer. Referring to Fig, 1, keep in mind 
that the microcontroller, PIC16F84, has 
5 lines of port A and S lines of port B, 

10 73 Amateur Radio Today ■ September 1999 

Any line of port A or B can be used as 
either an input or an output. In this 
project, we will connect the dot and 
dash paddle contacts to the port A 
lines, which will function as inputs, 
Keyer output and piezo buzzer for au- 
dio monitoring will he connected to 
port B as outputs. 

Now. lets examine the operation al- 
gorithm diagram. Fig. 1. All working 
steps are marked with rectangular 
boxes. Box "Start" is the point where 
the program will actually start to run. 
When supply voltage is applied to the 
keyer. the first step in the program is to 
instruct all port A lines to function as 
inputs. In the next steps, all lines of 
port B are instructed to function as 
outputs, and they also are switched to 
normal low output levels. Up to this 
point, the program has only prepared 
the PIC microcontroller. But continu- 
ing from this point, the program will 
begin to run in the normal idle opera- 
tion of the keyer. This is marked by the 
label "BEGIN 1 " on the diagram. 

Let me digress a bit from the algo- 
rithm diagram and explain how certain 
dot, dash, or pause durations will oc- 
cur in the keyer operation. PIC micro- 
controllers act by stepping under inter- 
nal clock pulses. Every step is called 
out as a cycle. Each command instruc- 
tion has some quantity of instruction 
cycles, I will not describe each one, or 
how many cycles it will require. I only 
want to point out that in order to pro- 
duce a certain length of dot, we need to 
calculate how many instruction cycles 
the microcontroller will use for pro- 
viding the operation, and how many to 
add for delaying cycles to establish the 
proper relationship between transmit- 
ting speed and Morse code elements. 
Delay duration depends upon the delay 
constants we will incorporate into the 
program. There are three different con- 
stants used: one each for the dot, dash, 
and pause. There are three counters 
nominated in the file register's internal 
memory area. To provide the desired 
delay, the constants will be put into 
their appropriate counters. 

But let's now return to the algo- 
rithm. The box closest to the "BEGIN" 
label is initialization of the counters. 
Initialization means to clear counters 












"DOT i r 


















LkI_Ke#WcN i 

Fig, /♦ Operation algorithm for the P!C-controlled keyer 

to make them ready for the next opera- 
tion. The keyer program now sequen- 
tially checks lo determine if the dot or 
dash paddle contacts are closed or not, 
First, it checks the dot input. If port 
line RA2 is low, the program will call 
the subroutine "Dot/' This is depicted 
by the right comparison rhomb corner 
marked with "Yes/' If not, RA2 is still 
high, which means that the dot paddle 
contact was not closed, and the pro- 
gram will go to check the status of the 
dash input, If the dash paddle contact 
i> pressed to make port RA3 low (yes), 
the program will call subroutine 
"Dash" to form a dash. If not (the dash 
paddle contact not closed), it will return 
to the beginning point and continue lo 


run this loop until "Yes" (a dot or dash 
paddle contact closure) occurs on one 
of the comparison rhombs. 

Let's consider what will happen 
when the dot is pressed and the keyer 
begins forming the duration of the dot 
mark to key the transmitter. First, we 
have to make the keying output port 
line RBI go high. This will cause the 
transmitter connected to the keyer to 
siart transmitting a dot. 

The next box on the algorithm dia- 
gram tells u\ that we have to load the 
delay constant into the counter. After 
thai, the program will start to generate 
a sound pulse sequence to operate the 
monitoring buzzer. 

The next rhomb is tor decreasing the 

Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 11 

counter number by one unit and check- 
ing to sec if it is equal to zero or not. If 
the answer is no, this loop will con- 
tinue until the delay is completed, and 
then the number in the counter will be 
decreased to zero. This will cause an 
exit from this point to the "Yes" direc- 
tion, and it will make the output port 
line RBI low. This means thai dot is 
completed and the transmitter stops 
transmitting. The same procedures are 
followed for producing the dash — ex- 
cept that ihe program will operate under 
the control of the "Dash" subroutine 
when it will find a low level on the 

input port line RA3. The only differ- 
ence is the delay constant, which is 
much larger to produce the dash that is 
three times longer than the dot. 

In both cases, when either the "Dof 
or "'Dash" routine is completed, and 
the RBI port line goes low. it will start 
the subroutine "Pause ." This routine 
must generate a pause between Morse 
code elements equal to the length of 
one dot. Note that here we are not in- 
cluding the provision of the audio 
monitoring signal which takes some 
amount of instruction cycles. This 
pause is controlled by another delay 

constant— a bit larger one — than the 
one used for the dot, Subroutine 
"Pause" works in the same manner as 
ihe routines for forming the length of 
the dot and dash, except that il has its 
own unique constant loaded into its 
counter. The delay constant number in 
the pause counter is decreased by one 
unit until it is zero. When pause is 
completed, the program returns to the 
point labeled "BEGIN" to check for dot 
or dash inputs by the operator, and the 
keyer's PIC microcontroller continues to 
repeat this action until power is turned 



count 1 


IMM ^MM ■» 


i ■ w m w r-i 

p= 16184 

0x3ff3 ; RC dock oscillator 

»»■■■■ ■ i i 

_ ,. 

CPU equates (memory map) 









. for DOT delay constant 

; tor PAUSE delay constant 








; teach port A inputs 





: leach port B outputs 




all port B lines low 








; initialize counters 








porta T 2 

; is RA2 low (dot pressed)? 





; calling subrouting DOT 













. ts RA3 low [dash pressed)? 

; calling subrouting DASH 


1 > i ■ 1 ■ C 

subroutine DOl 


- J 

dot 1 



; RB1=1 f dot begins 


d'12 1 

, ; dels/ constant 



: load const to counter 



portb .3 

; sound on 



: sound off 


countl ,f 

; decrement counter 



; not 


portb, 1 

; RBI =0 t end dot 



; start PAUSE subroutine 

Subroutine DASH 

■ * ■ ■*«■■■ 









portb. 1 







portb, 1 

RBi-1, dash begins 

; delay constant 

: load const to counter 

; sound on 

sound off 

. decrement counter 

; nor 

RB1=G, end dash 


~— subroutine PAUSE — - — ~— — - — — - 




; delay constant 



; load counter with delay const 



county I 

; decrement counter 





; counter 0. end pause 

END of program — 


Table L An assembly language program for PIC keyer. 
12 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

An assembly language program 

The assembly language program for 
the keyer is presented in Table 1. As- 
sembler software will examine this 
program and ignore all lines beginning 
from the semicolon. Others perform 
assembly source code. This part will 
be assembled by MPASM, the com- 
piler included into the MPLAB inte- 
grated development environment from 
Microchip, The assembler will con- 
vert readable text files into hexadeci- 
mal code for programming the PIC 

The line beginning with the word 
"list" informs the assembler what type 
of a PIC microcontroller is used. The 
next line determines the type of inter- 
nal clock oscillator built into the de- 
vice. In this case, it is an RC-type 

The next five lines are equating 
statements which assign hexadecimal 
addresses to file registers in the PIC 
memory area. The line with ORG (ori- 
gin) defines the address in memory 
where the program code starts. 

The line with the label "start" in the 
first column of the program will teach 
all port A lines to function as inputs by 
loading hexadecimal FF (or binary 
1111 1111) into a special tristate regis- 
ter Actually, this instruction only 
needs five "1 ? s," because port A has 
five input/output lines (named as 
RA0-RA4) in this type of PIC, There- 
fore, the three *Ts" in the left "F" are 
functionally superfluous. In like man- 
ner, the program will teach all port B 
lines to function as outputs by loading 
hexadecimal 00 (binary equivalent is 
0000 0000) into this register The Port 
B register is also cleared, which means 
low level statements for each of the 
eight output lines RB0-RB7. 

The label "BEGIN" shows the point 
where delay counters are cleared. 
When all three counters are ready, the 
program begins the "Dot" portion* 
Here the program checks for the low 
level at the input port RA2. Electri- 
cally, this point is wired to the dot con- 
tact of the paddle. If bit 2 of port A is 
high (paddle is not pressed to dot) in 
accordance with the instruction "goto," 
the program goes to the "Dash" portion. 

However, if bit 2 of port A is low, the 
next executed instruction will be "call." 
This means call the Dot subroutine. 

In the first subroutine, the line la- 
beled as "dot," bit 1 of the port B is set 
to "1 ." This high level will activate the 
transmitter^ keying circuitry to start 
transmitting a dot. The next two pro- 
gram lines load decimal value "12" 
(the delay constant) into counter L 
Following this step, the program be- 
gins to generate signals for the buzzer 
Instruction "bsf ' sets to "1" bit 3 of 
port B. If you remember, previously 
we made all port bits low. Now RB3 
goes high and the buzzer produces one 
click. But in the next step instruction, 
"bef" makes this output low, causing a 
new click, A fast repetition rate trans- 
forms the clicks into a tone. 

Instruction "deefsz" decrements 
counter 1 contents by one unit and 
compares the result with zero. Until 
zero has been reached, the instruction 
"goto" loops to the label "rptdot" to 
produce new clicks, and continues to 
decrement the counter until the content 
of the counter becomes zero— then 
the following instruction "bef ' will 
make RBI low. The dot is now over 
and the transmitter no longer transmits 
RF energy. 

But subroutine "Dot" isn't over. In- 
struction "call" will execute another 
subroutine, "Pause." This begins by 
loading decimal value "14" (delay con- 
stant) to counter 2. The next instruction 
decrements this counter until the delay 
is complete and the counter is clear. 
Note that output port lines RBI and 
RB3 are not used in this subroutine. 
We do not need to either key the trans- 
mitter or produce sound. We only need 
to get a standard length pause equal to 
the length of one dot. The pause for the 
audio signal is controlled by counter 2 
and a much larger delay constant. 

When subroutine "Pause" is over, 
instruction "return" returns us to sub- 
routine "Dot/' But the last instruction 
here also is "return," and the program 
goes back to the "Dot" portion. From 
there the program jumps to the point 
labeled "BEGIN" to initialize counters 
again, and starts checking which con- 
tact on the paddle is being pressed. 

Subroutine "Dash" is the same as 


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ffittR RA2 

R83 RBI 







F/jf, 2. Schematic of the simple PIC CW keyer. Unless otherwise specified, resistors are 
1/4 W f 5*& tolerance, carbon-composition or film units. Appropriare equivalent parts 
from Digi-Key fDfil can be substituted as shown in Table 2, 

subroutine 'Dot." It is followed hv 
subroutine "Pause" as well. The only 
difference is in delay constant value. 
The decimal equivalent is "37," which 
makes the clash duration almost ihrcc 
times larger than the dot or pause. 

Circuit description 

Refer to the schematic diagram. Fig, 
2. The circuit is powered from +5 V 
voltage regulator Ul. Capacitors CI 
and C3 provide clear DC and C2 is for 
suppression of incoming RF energy 
from the transmitter. 

The keyer itself is microcontroller 
U2. Resistor Rl keeps the reset input 
on pin 4 high. Resistors R3 and R4 arc 
pull-up resistors lor inputs RA2 and 
RA3- They provide high idle level at 
the paddle' s dot and dash contacts. 
Note that I do not specify left or right 
contacts on the paddle because that is a 
matter of the operator's taste. 

Onboard components R2 and C4 to- 
gether with outboard potentiometer 
RP1 are the RC circuitry for the internal 
dock oscillator. Willi the component 
values shown here, the transmitting 
14 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

speed varies from approximately 5 wpm 
to over 30. To make a more narrow 
speed range, you may use a higher 
value of R2. 

Signal from pin 7 of U2 is used for 
keying the transmitter. Ql functions as 
a bipolar switch to key the transmitter 
keying circuitry. When port RB 1 goes 
hish it turns Ql on, therebv connect- 
ing the collector network to ground. 
Resistor R5 is for limiting base current. 

The piezo buzzer connected to pin 9* 
monitors the transmitted Morse code 
text. There is another unusual function 
of the buzzer. You will notice that the 
buzzer's pilch is related to the clock 
speed of the microcontroller. When the 
operator varies the Morse transmission 
speed by rotating the knob on RP1. it 
will also vary the sound pilch. At first 
this may seem like a disadv ant age, hut 
the positive effect of this is to make it 
possible to estimate desired Morse 
speed just by listening to the pitch of 
the lone. The lower the tone of one dot, 
the lower the Morse speed. No need to 
overload the band with a series of dots 
to check the transmitting speed. This, 

of course, is true only for the buzzer's 
tone, not for the signals heard from 

* — 

your station headphones! Your trans- 
ceiver uses other methods to get a 
monitoring tone. 


The keyer was built on a 30 x 35 mm 
glass-epoxy single-sided PC board 
(see Fig. 3). If you notice my name 
and call sign, you will understand why 
metric sizes were cited. Customary 
English dimensions are approximately 
1-1/4 x 1-3/8 inches. I am not familiar 
with companies outside of the Ukraine 
that produce custom boards in small 
quantities. However. I think it is nor- 
mal practice for radio amateurs to 
make their own boards. 

The assembled board can be in- 
stalled into almost any transceiver. 
Limitations will be either not enough 
room in its case (which seems incred- 
ible) or some specific feature of the 
keying circuitry such as keying with 
high sink current or high voltage above 
ground. In this situation, transistor Ql 
should be used to drive a small relay 
with open contacts. Don't forget to in- 
clude a small silicon diode across the 
relay coil to manage the inductive 
spike when the relay coil is de-ener- 
gized (and, of course, do ensure that 


Parts List 




Any type CW keyer paddle 


10 jiF. 25 V electrolytic or 
tantalum (OK P5148-ND) 

C2, C4 

Ceramic {C2: DK P4924- 
ND; C4: DK P4905-ND) 


Piezo buzzer element (DK 


25 k potentiometer (DK 


78L05 small 5 V positive 
regulator (DK NJM78105- 
ND) | 


PJC16F84 microcontroller 


2N222 or any general 
purpose NPN silicon 
transistor (DK 

Table 2. Parts list 

Fig, 3(a). PIC keyer printed circuit board, component side. 

the polarity is correct and the diode is 
not DC conductive when the relay coil 
is energized). 

It is wise to install the keyer board 
directly onto the keyer paddle assem- 
bly. This will ensure the shortest pos- 
sible input wires, and keep it away 
from strong RF fields. A metal enclo- 
sure to further shield against RF en- 
ergy in your shack is also a wise idea. 
The accompanying photo reveals that 
my keyer is an improvisation (which in 
the Ukraine is standard procedure due 
to the cost of living and scarcity of 
manufactured electronic parts). It is 
mounted on an old-fashioned telephone 
polarized relay modified as a paddle. 
But this is also the amateur radio tradi- 
tion, and I'm sure you will conjure up 
your own unique improvisations. 


First of all, you have to work with 
your assembler program in Microchip's 

UY533J PIC keuer, ver.1.0 

Fig. .1(h). PIC keyer printed circuit board, 
soldering side. 

MPLAB software. This is the best en- 
vironment for design and debugging 
your programs. This software can be 
obtained free from the Microchip Web 
site (see Notes). The assembler com- 
piler MPASM is included in MPLAB 
and also supplied separately. It may be 
used to obtain source files for the pro- 
grammer, but I prefer to use the whole 
MPLAB package. On the Web site, 
you will also find a manual for the 
newest version of MPLAB, with de- 
tailed explanations on how to work 
with this software. 

The results of your work in MPLAB 
will be a file with extension 'Uiex. It 
should be used in programming soft- 
ware PIX (see Notes, note 3). Also, 
you will need the programmer itself. I 

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This simple keyer is an example of 
gaining knowledge and skills by self- 
study experimentation, and construc- 
tion — and you end up with a very useful 
station accessory' as well! And, of 
course, like most amateur radio projects, 
the project itself is ripe for further im- 
provements and modifications- Keep in 
mind that the program described in 
this short article utilizes only a very 
small part of PIC16F84 capabilities. 

In closing, I would like to express 
my heartiest gratitude to my friend 
Dave Evison W7DE for his valuable 
remarks and comments. 


1. David Benson, bi Easy PICn. A 
Beginner's Guide to Using PIC 16/17 
Microcontrollers." Version 3.0, Square 
1 Electronics, 1997. 

2. Available at [http://www.microchJp. 


3. Available at [http://home5.swipnet. 

Photo A. PIC -based CW keyer 

73 Amateur Radio Today ■ September 1999 15 

Number 1$ on your Fe&tbacH ce«f 

Y2K Portable J-Pole 

What emergency will you need to handle? 

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Flor 2-meter portable use, I like 
ihe idea of having a full-size 
roll-up antenna available for 

situations where communication neces- 
sity outweighs the compact convenience 
of the usual rubber- Ilex antenna. Some- 
times, we need to "gel our" belter! 
Roll il up and an antenna like this will 
fit perfectly in your Y2K emergency 
preparedness kit! 

The portable, flexible J -pole is nol a 
new idea; Pve seen several over the 
past decade or so and tried most of 
them — but with mixed results. Thev 
did radiate after a fashion, but VSWR 
was much higher than expected, and 
band coverage was narrow or the coax 
tap point for a decent match was very 
picky and difficult to move. While 
moderate VSWR can be tolerated by 

most handhelds, maximum power trans- 
fer always occurs when the source and 
load impedances are matched. Besides, 
high VSWR naas at me, even when 
overall results seem to be satisfactory. 

The approach taken in this antenna 
is so old. it might be considered novel. 
I was browsing through an early radio 
hook and noticed in a diagram that a 
half- wave Zeppelin antenna (the origi- 
nal J-pole) used link coupling between 
the transmitter and the quarter-wave 
matching section (which feeds the half- 
wave radiator). Aha! Link coupling ... I 
haven't seen that tried, so here it is! It 
gives fiill band coverage on 2 meters, 
with VSWR le>» than 1.3 — \erv broad. 

My first attempt at construction used 
ordinary hookup wire for the link and 
plastic tape to hold it in place at the 
shorted end of the matching section. It 
worked line hut, realizing the diffi- 
culty of describing how r to do it I de- 
cided to use a PC board to "freeze" this 

potentially critical portion of the antenna 
, for easy duplication, convenience, and 
improved long-term stability mo tape to 
come unraveled!). 

On the J-pole coupler PC board, the 
outermost U is actually the cold end 
o( the quarter- wave matching section. 
Inside il is the link coupling loop and 
donut pads to mount the series tuning 
capacitor (3.5-20 pF, Mouser 24AA022 
or equivalent). Pads are also provided 
to install a small fixed capacitor in par- 
allel with the trimmer just in case the 
one you use is too small in value. The 
remaining small pad is for RG-58 (or 
equivalent) coax center conductor: the 
two larger pads nearby accept pigtails 
from the coax shield, one on each side 
of the coax. The two isolated pads are 
drilled out to provide holes for coax 
strain relief. Use a nylon lie- wrap or 
small magnet wire wrapped around the 
coax and through these holes to secure it 
to the PC board. Now your connections 

Photo A* Y2K portable J-pole antenna, 

coiled up and ready to \>o. 

16 73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 


(tee **#> 

zz ^ 




*■ 7 - 



Fig, L Portable J-pole antenna for 2 meters. 

are all secure, and nothing can move 
around or shift over lime. 

The coax cable may be any length 
you wish, fitted with a connector on 
the far end to mate with your trans- 
ceiver I chose a five-foot length with 
BNC connector for general use, but if 
you anticipate pulling this antenna up 
into a tree or some other support, use a 
longer piece of cable to gain that 
height advantage. 

The remainder of the matching section 
and the half-wave radiator are fabricated 
from a single piece of plastic-covered 
latiderline. approximately 55 inches long. 
The type I used was a standard radio 
store item with conductors spaced 0,8 
inches and roughly fifty percent dielec- 
tric fill in between, alternating between 
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Measure 13 inches from one end of 
the line, and in the middle of the next 
spacer section beyond that point, make 
a 1/2-inch gap in one side of the line (the 
gap is placed in a spacer section so it 
won't weaken the structure as it would if 
you placed it in an air section). Now 

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Photo B» Antenna detail. 

measure 1 2-7/8 inches back toward the 
same end, cut the line, and remove 1/4 
inch of insulation from each wire. 
Connect this end of the line to the large 
pads at the open end of the outer U on 
the coupler PC board. The distance be- 
tween these pad connections and the 
beginning of the gap should be 12-5/8 

From the other side of the gap, mea- 
sure out 37-5/8 inches and cut the 
ladderline at that point. Remove 1/2 
inch of insulation from each side of the 
line and bend the wires at right angles 
so that they touch each other. Solder 
them together. This makes the radiator 
just over 37 inches long, and connect- 
ing the two wires fattens it consider- 
ably for broadband performance. For 
suspending this antenna vertically, at- 
tach string, shoelace, or small rope of a 
length that will suit your needs. 

With the antenna hanging in a clear 
area, adjust the link tuning capacitor 
for minimum VSWR while transmit- 
ting in the middle of the band. Re- 
flected power should go down to zero 
or nearly so, and VSWR at the band 
edges should not rise much beyond 
1.3 to 1 (at least that was the case in 
several units built and tested here). 

Other types of parallel conductor 
transmission line, even TV twinlead, 
should work with this coupler PC 
board, but differences in propagation ve- 
locity will likely change the dimensions 

somewhat — especially the distance 
from the coupler to the gap — so you 
may have to experiment. 

If you're templed to push this an- 
tenna into a piece of PVC tubing (with 
end cap) for use as a fixed station an- 
tenna, it will work — but not with the 
dimensions given. For use inside a 1- 
inch-i.d. PVC tube with a wall thick- 
ness of 1/8 inch, you can make the 
coupler-to-gap distance 11-7/8 inches 
and shorten the radiator to 34-3/4 
inches. Adjust the link tuning capaci- 
tor for best SWR with as much of the 
antenna as possible inserted in the 
tube, and then push in the rest. 

The antenna can be supported within 
the tube by drilling the wall approxi- 
mately 18 inches down from the top 
and inserting an insulative pin or 
small-diameter rod through one of the 
air sections of the ladderline. Seal the 
holes to keep the rain out Keep in 
mind that this antenna was designed 
for typical handheld transceiver power 
levels. Though it showed no evidence 
of RF heating (in the trimmer capaci- 
tor) with a 10 watt transceiver, I doubt 
if it would handle a whole lot more 
than that. If your power needs are 
greater than the 10 watt level, I suggest 
you substitute a mica compression 
trimmer like the ARCO 401 if you can 
find one. 

Continued on page 36 

18 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

Number 19 on your Feedback card 

Defogging Microstrips 

An intro to micro stripline filters. 

Jim Kocsis WA9PYH 

53180 Flicker Lane 

South Bend IN 46637 

This article describes microstip- 
line tillers. They perform ibe 
same functions as LC circuits 
but don't look anything like typical 
ones. I'll slum \ou how to design and 
make your own. I retraced my steps as 
I was trying to develop one. so you 
wouldn't waste time and make the 
same mistakes I did. Let's try to re- 
move sonic ol the fot! surrounding this 

1 needed an input tiller for a micro- 
wave downconverter that I built. It 
translates microwave frequencies to 
VHP Without a filter at the RF input, 
the signal was noisy because the con- 
verter combined both the desired sig- 
nal and the image noise in the output. I 
had seen microstripline filters in com- 
mercial equipment, but had no idea 
how to design them or how they 
worked. The filter I designed provides 
noise-free signals, whereas before the 
signal was covered with so much noise 
that it was useless. 

These filters can be used in equip- 
ment for the 440. 902, and 1296 MHz 
ham bands and the 1691 MHz weather 
satellite band (my application). They 
are useful at higher frequencies if test 
equipment is available that can go 


Microstrtpline filters can consisi of 
several grounded 1/4-wavelensth-lons 
sections of printed circuit track on 
double-sided PC board, See Photos A 
and B. The energy in one element is 
coupled into the next clement due to 
their close proximity. They resonate at 

one frequency just like a 1/4- wave an- 
tenna. The loss ihrough the filter is de- 
termined by the spacing between die 
elements and the number of elements. 
The bandwidth decreases (gels harper 
or narrower) as the spacing between 
elements is increased, and the loss 

Continued on page 20 


Photo 4. From left, filters 1, 2, and 3, 

73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 19 

Photo B* From left, filters 4. 6 (filler 5 after trim}, and 7. 

Defogging Microstrips 

Continued from page 18 

increases us ihc spacing is increased. 
(Compare Figs, 3 and 4.) 

The amount ol" loss you can tolerate 
and the bandwidth you require deter- 
mines the spacing, You can add more 
elements and gel a sharper filter curve 
(steeper sides on the filler response; 
compare Figs. 3 and 5), but more board 
space is required. II" you want lots of 
rejection far from the passband and a 
wide passband, you may have to stag- 
ger tune the elements, making each 
element resonate at a slightly different 
frequency. There is no one filter configu- 
ration (number of elements and spacing) 
that is correct for every application. 

Since the l/4-wave lines (weMl call 
them lines instead of PC tracks) are 
constructed above a ground plane, the 

Fig. J. Typical PC board artwork for 
"floating Ifl-wave™ design. 

20 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

board insulating material affects the ve- 
locity factor because it has a dielectric 
constani different from that of air. This 

makes the lines shorter than thev 


would be if the dielectric was air. 

In this article. I'll discuss two con- 
figurations of microstripline fillers: 
comb and interdigitak In a comb con- 
figuration, all the lines arc grounded at 
the same end. In an interdinital con- 
figuration, the grounded ends alter- 
nate. I obtained greater loss with a 
comb configuration. The graphs dis- 
cussed later will demonstrate this 
higher loss. 

There is a third type of configuration 
that I did not try. It uses 1/4- wave lines 
grounded at the input/output and 1/2- 
wavc floating lines for the intermedi- 
ate lines. See Fig, 1. I don't know 
whether this type has other desirable 
characteristics. See Ref. 3 for further 

The actual lines should be 50 ohrns 
impedance, because that provides a 
good match to other devices (the LNA, 
mixer, etc.). The input and output track 
should also be 50 ohms impedance. 
For 0.062-inch glass epoxy board, a 50 
ohm line is 0.100-inch wide. The 50 
ohms is determined by the line width 
and the type and thickness of substrate. 
A good article on determining the im- 
pedance of various thicknesses, sub- 
strates, and line widths was referenced 
by many other articles. See Ref. I . To 
obtain the desired 50 ohm impedance, 
the input and output taps should be 
about 1/3 of the way up from the 
ground end. 

Development and design 

The first thing I always do when 
starting a new concept is to go over all 
my old issues of 73 Magazine, Ham 
Radio , QSF and the A RRL Handbooks. 
T also get RF Design at work and keep 
a file of articles that I think I might 
need in the future. After spending 
many hours searching for information 
on microslriplinc filters, 1 found one 
brief article in Ham Radio (Ref, 1), 
one page in the A RRL UHF and Micro- 

n -i 

(Q 360 400 460 

600 550 6C 












— - 










^" ■ 









Fig. 2. Frequency response curve of filter f 3 -pole, .} 00" spacing, comb configuration. 












— i 








— ' 

1 1 




1 ' 




\ " 



-H — i 




■ — ■ 





- — i 

— ^ 



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1 ' 

i— — r 1 





















— m 

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-lJ_ i — 



f% 3. Frequency response curve of fitter 2, 3-pole. . /O0" spacing, interdigitat configuration, 

wave Experimenters Handbook (Ref. 
2), two very technical articles in RF 
Design (Rcfs. 3 and 4), and some tech- 
nical correspondence I had with Chuck 
Houghton WB6IGP about 7 years ago 
(he does the excellent Above and Be- 
yond column in 73 Magazine). One RF 
Design article didn't really explain 
how the filters function but was just a 
computer program you could purchase 
or enter yourself. The other RF Design 
article discussed a lot of theory I didn't 
understand. The Ham RofHo magazine 
article showed a little of what I was 
looking for; it described 2- and 3-eIe- 
ment fillers and demonstrated that 3 
elements produce a sharper filter than 
one with 2 elements. The ARRL UHF 

and Microwave Experimenters Hand- 
book listed an example of a filter hut 
didn't provide much design informa- 
tion. The best guidelines I was able to 
obtain came from Chuck Houghton. 
He sketched out some notes in answer 
to questions I posed and said I would 
have to experiment with the design. 
The handwriting was on the wall! It 
was time to stop reading and start 
making some filters! 

Where I work, we use DOX {Design 
of Experiment) and Taguchi methods 
wherein we vary one (or more) 
parameters ) at a time to see the effects 
of each change on a given design. Us- 
ing these techniques to develop the re- 
quired filter, I would have to vary the 








Fig. 4. Frequency response curve of filter 3, 3-pole, 5/16" spacing, interdigital configuration. 




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Photo C. Bottom view o/SMA connectors. 

spacing, try both interdigital and comb 
configurations, and vary the number of 
elements until I obtained the desired 
bandwidth and loss. 

I began by building a filler thai I 
could easily test and analyze with our 
commercial generator. Both the fre- 
quency and level can be set accurately. 
The first filter I built resonated at 
around 450 MHz, well within the 
range of both the spectrum analyzer 
and the commercial .signal generator, I 
plotted the data showing the perfor- 
mance of each (liter after it was built. I 
made more filters thai had different 
spacing, a different configuration, and 
a different number of elements. Plots 
of filler performance vs. filter type are 
shown in Figs. 2 through 8. See also 
Photos A, B, and C. 

Figs. 2 and 3 .show the difference be- 
tween comb and interdigital configura- 
tions, Comb niters have about 3 dB 
more loss than interdigital filters for a 




















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~tfr. T 

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Fig. 6, Frequency response cuneof filter 5, 5-pok t J W" spacing, interdi glial configuration. 

given spacing and number of elements. 
In Fig. 4 the lines were placed farther 
apart, Note that the loss at the pass fre- 
quency is very high (-17 dB). In Fig, 5 
the number of elements was increased 
from 3 to 5, This change provided 
steeper sides, indicating more attenua- 
tion of undesired frequencies. 

Fig. 6 shows a filter that has the 
proper spacing. It's an interdigital con- 
figuration and was purposely made too 
long so that it could be trimmed to reso- 
nate at the desired frequency (1691 
MHz), After trimmine, notice in Photo 
B(b) that the elements are no Ionizer 
fully engaged. This showed up as more 
attenuation than I thought should be 
present (-10 dB), although the curve 
had the correct shape. 













^i — i — 

i , 

! j 

— I 




I— p 

— i 

i — 

— I 















I k -l _I1L ' [_ 1 ._. L XJLJh 




i — ^ 

i — i 


Fig. 5. Frequency response cane of filter 4, 5-poIe, J GO" spacing, interdigital configuration 
22 73 Amateur Radio Today * SeptembGr 1999 

The only change to be made at this 
point was to change Fig. 7 so that the el- 
ements were more fully engaged with 
the correct length. The finished filter 
performance is shown in Fig # 8. While 
the final design does have more loss 
than I thought my receiver could toler- 
ate, it actually worked fine as- is for my 
application. Later IT1 discuss how to 
reduce the loss of the filter. If you must 
change the length of a filter element a 
significant amount to get il exactly on 
frequency, don't forget to move the in- 
put and output lines to 1/3 the distance 
from the ground end. This will retain 
the 50 ohm input/output impedances. 

Filter line lengths for the frequencies 
I tested are as follows: 450 MHz — - 
3.625 inches; 1400 MHz— 1.00 inch; 
and 1691 MHz--0.85 inches. 

Making the filters 

To compose the filter artwork I used 
the Paintbrush software that comes 
with Windows 3.K Win95. and Win 
NT. You will have lo turn on the coor- 
dinates (X,Y) to provide information 
on the position and dimensions of the 
filter elements. Use zoom so you can 
see each grid square. You should also 
have the gridlines turned on. This soft- 
ware will give you 0.01 -inch resolu- 
tion, which is adequate for this type of 
filter work and most other PC artwork 
you may need. 

Select black for the color, then begin 
clicking along the outline of the track 
you need. After this use "fill" {the icon 


After priming the track onto the spe- 
cial media, use a common clothing 
iron to transfer it to double-sided 
copperclad board, Fve used both the 
paper-based and the blue plastic film 

Fig. 7. Frequency response curve of filter 6; this is filter 5 trimmed to peak at 1691 MHz. 

looks like paint being poured from a 
can) to complete that section of track. 
Make sure the outline is solid, or else 
the entire image will be filled in. (Use 
"undo" if you missed a grid square.) 
You should start near one corner, 
working out from that comer toward 
the center of the work area. The soft- 
ware provides a 6.4" x 4.8" working 
area, I recommend starting at an even- 
numbered grid square, say 100,100. 
That way you can make the track 
width the required 0J00 inches. 

The spacing will be what you deter- 
mine to be best for your application, 
and the length will be what you need. 
Note the difference between the coor- 
dinates of the upper left and lower 
right of a given track, and that will 
give you track width and length. For 
example, assume the upper left is 
100,100 and the lower right is 300,110. 
Subtracting the first point from the sec- 
ond, you can determine that the track 
is 2 inches long and OJOO inches wide. I 
recommend putting a single line "test 
pattern" near the edge of your board 
(away from the filter elements) that is 
exactly 1 inch long and has a short per- 
pendicular line at each end. This test 
pattern is shown in Fig* 9. If this line is 
exactly 1 inch long on your printed ait- 
work then the rest of the artwork is ac- 
curate. If not, then the rest of your 
artwork is wrong. Verify that you have 
the scaling set to 100%. 

I used Prcss-n-Peel to transfer the 
artwork lo double-sided board. This 

product is very easy to use. It requires 
that you have a laser printer to print the 
track image on their special media. See 
Ref, 5, (Fve used Press-n-Peel to make 
these filters and several other boards 
and only had problems the first time.) 


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■ 15 




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Fig. S. Frequency response citn'e of filter 7. 5 -pole. J 00" spacing, mterdigital configuration. 

types, and prefer the latter, I use 
Scolch/3M Super 33+ electrical tape 
as a resist for the ground plane. Handle 
the hoard very carefully when attach- 
ing the tape. The track resist on the fil- 
ter side can come off if" you scratch it 
loo hard. I used elchant from Radio 
Shack thai I heated with a 100 watt 
spotlight held about 6 inches above a 
small plastic tray. Please don V pour the 
used etchanl down the drain! It will eat 
metal (il ale the copper from your board, 
right?), so must be discarded properly at 
a hazardous material handling station. 

To ground l ho one end of each filter el- 
ement, I drilled a small hole (0,044-inch- 
diameter), pushed a small wire through, 
bent the wire over on both sides, and sol- 
dered it on both sides. Make sure that 
you are drilling all holes the same dis- 
tance from the ungrounded end, or else 
the lines will he a different physical and 
electrical length, thus spoiling the shape 
and performance of the filter 

I don't know how close the end of 
each element can get to the edge off the 
board before filter performance starts 
to suffer. I used a minimum 1/2 inch 
spacing all around the board. 

Fig. 9* Printer scaling lest pattern. 

24 73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 

Testing the filters 

Connect your signal generator to the 
spectrum analyzer and adjust the level 
of the generator (if yours is adjustable) 
until the display reads nearly full scale 
so you can use the full range of the 
analyzer. Then insert the filter to be 
tested in line between the analyzer and 
generator. Vary the frequency from the 
lowest to the highest frequency of in- 
terest- The lowest should be well be- 
low the "image" frequency of your 
converter if you are building a low side 
injection converter 

The range over which you test the 
filter should include all frequencies 
you want to reject and pass. In my 
case, I wanted to pass 1691 MH/ and 
reject 1416 MHz. since 1416 MHz is 
the "image" of 1691 MHz. The image 
frequency is two times the IF lower than 
the frequency you want to receive. [My 
IF is 137.5 MH/: 1691 - (2 x 137.5} = 
1416] Plot the frequency vs, level out- 
put every 25 MHz (more or less, de- 
pending upon what kind of resolution 
you need on your filters performance). 

Note that the level without the filter 
in line is the starting level. All the data 
points with the filter in line are below 
the starting level (negative dBh The 
niter ideally would have no loss (0 dB ] 
at the center frequency and lots of loss 
(-40 dB or more) away from the center 
frequency. Plot the data points you 
took using axis scales as shown in 
Figs. 2-8. The plots shown here were 

made using Excel software and data I 
recorded manually. 

The HP generator I used only goes 
up to 1 100 MHz. I needed a filter that 
operates at 1691 MH/. and I needed to 
lest it well above 1691 MHz. To lest 
above 1 1 00 MHz, I used a POS-2000 
VCO from Mini-Circuits (Ret 6). The 
VCO costs $20 (plus handling/shipping) 
and covers 1300 MHz to 2000 MHz 
with about 15 milliwatts output power, 
Thev make very good, rugged VCOs. 
They are all 50 ohm output impedance 
and cover frequencies from 10 MHz to 
2000 MHz. Obtain the data sheet that 
covers the unit you use. They are tuned 
over the range with a pot as shown in 
Fig. 10. 

You" II also need to design a simple cir- 
cuit board for this "generator." The 
VCCJs pins are all on 0,1 00" centers, so 
the layout is very simple. 1 recommend 
getting a copy of their RF/IF Designers 
Handbook and VCO Designers Hand- 
book See Ref. 6. They have extensive 
and very useful theory and practical de- 
sign and construction information on 
various types of microwave components. 

I used SMA-lype connectors to 
couple signals in and out of the fillers. 
1 bought used ones at a hamfest for $1 
each. New ones cost S10. They mount 
on the edge of the board as shown in 
Photos C and D. 

Summary and other changes 

As you can see, I built a lot of filters. 
By keeping characteristics that helped 
performance (0. 100-inch instead of 
5/I6 -1 spacing, using an interdigital in- 
stead of comb configuration) and dis- 
carding ones that hurt performance, I 
was able to get close to the desired 
bandwidth and loss. 

You will need access to a spectrum 
analyzer and a VCO at a minimum. If 
you don't own an analyzer, perhaps a 
broadcast engineer at a local TV/FM 
station (hopefully a ham) can let you 
use theirs. The VCO is adequate for 
the home experimenter. Of course, a 
generator is easier to use. 

These filters are not made for trans- 
mitting applications. I don't know how 
much power they can handle, since my 
application was for receiving. I didn't 
have any equipment to measure SWR, 

Photo D. Top view ofSMA connectors. 

so I couldn't determine ihc input and 
output impedances. They may be 
slightly different from 50 ohms and may 
he reactive (capacitive or inductive). 

Tuning capacitors can he added at 
the ungrounded end of each line in the 
tllter to allow the center frequency and 
passband to be varied or if you want to 
tunc the filter exactly on the desired 
frequency. If you want to experiment 
with this feature, make sure you use 
high quality piston-type capacitors. Be 
aware that they are not cheap! I bought 
some at a hamfesl just in case I needed 
them, They were 55 each. That's S25 
for a five-element filter! I prefer to 
make the passband a little wider than 1 

really need — This ensures that the fre- 
quency you want to pass unattenualed 
will be in the passband. At ihe higher 
frequencies (over 1000 MHz), only a 
few picofarads of capacitance is needed 
to move the frequency of each line many 
megahertz. To increase the bandwidth 
by a large amount, the lines should be 
stagger tuned (each line is tuned to a 
different frequency so the overall re- 
sponse is a summation of the indi- 
vidual responses). This requires a 
tracking sweep generator that allows 
you to gel an instant picture of the 
filters response curve, I understand 
that tracking sweep generators are 
quite rare, so if you have access to one, 

+ 20V 

+ 8V 


10 turny 

POS-2 000 

■> RF Out 

Fig, 10. VCO schematic. 

consider yourself very lucky! The al- 
ternative is to use your existing setup 
and plot the results of each tuning ad- 
justment you make. Obviously, this re- 
quires infinite patience and good data 
taking/analysis skills. 

The cost of materials is very low. 
Double-sided 0.062" glass epoxy circuit 
board is available at larger bamfests. The 
Press-n-Peel is the most expensive 
item you* II have to buy. It runs around 
$1 for an 8*1/2 x 1 1 sheet. If vou want 
to be real cheap (okay, conservative!). 
you can use part of a sheet of the 
Press-n-Pcel taped to a full-sized sheet 
of regular printer paper. Run a test on 
regular paper to see where to tape the 
Press-n-Peel. Put this ''carrier" paper 
in the printer paper bin and print \our 

1 enjoyed making the filters, analyz- 
ing the data, and learning how each 
variable affected filter performance. If 
you decide to try the techniques de- 
scribed here, please write me and let 
me know how you did, I would enjoy 
hearing from you and am willing to 
provide help and share all my notes. 
Please send an SASE (thanks!) — I'll 
coverall the copying costs. 

Many thanks to my wife Yvonne for 
proofreading the text of this article. 


1. Ham Radio Magazine. Dec. 1975, 
pages 46^49. 

2. ARRL Miammve & UHF Experi- 
menters HandliooL pages 8-31 and 8- 

3. RF Design, Aug. 1995, pages 95- 
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73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 25 

Number 26 on your Feedback card 

Secrets of Transmission Lines 

Part 2: Review of AC fundamentals. 

Jack Kuecken KE2QJ 

2 Round Trail Drive 

Pittsford NY 14534 


he original dynamo was an AC 
rather than a DC machine. How- 
ever, alternating current seemed 
to be significantly less useful than di- 
rect current. One cannot charge a bat- 
ten: conduct electroh m>, m electroplate 
with alternating current. Arc lights oper- 
ate poorly on AC and welding is ren- 
dered more difficult* Furthermore, the 
behavior of circuits excited with alter- 
nating current was profoundly more 
difficult for investigators in the early 
1 800s to understand- 

Probably the most puzzling item was 
the fact that Kirehhoff's Law was not 


In the circuit similar to Fig. 3 of Part 
I and equation 1-6, the value of i was 
not necessarily equal to the sum of i, + 

i, + ... i ; in fact, it was usually smaller. 
In a series circuit, E was not necessar- 
ily equal to E, + E, ... + En; in fact, it 
was usually smaller, too. In addition. 
current would seem to flow in circuits 
where there was no connection. It is 
not hard to imagine that it would lake a 
considerable amount of investigation 
to explain this behavior. 

In 1820. Hans Christian Oersted 
found that an electric current flowing 
in a wire would deflect a compass. In 
the same year, Francois Arago found 
26 73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 

that a helical coil of copper wire, oth- 
erwise nonmagnetic, would behave 
identically to a bar magnet when an 
electric current flowed through it. This 
work attracted the attention of Andre- 
Marie Ampere, who showed that there 
is a physical attraction between wires 
carrying currents flowing in the same 
direction and a repulsion between wire 
carrying currents in opposite direc- 
tions. This is very easy to prove ex- 
perimentally. The apparatus of Fig, 1 
is easily made from a couple of screw 
eyes and a length of stiff copper wire. 
The stronger the current, the farther 
the bail will swing out. 

Note that the battery polarity can be 
reversed without changing the result, 
since the current in both the stationary 
loop and the bail arc reversed. A small 
transformer with a lamp in series to 
limit the current can he substituted for 
the batten* and will also do the same 
thing. The angle of the bail will be pro* 
portional to the absolute value of the 
average current. By absolute value we 
mean without regard to algebraic sign. 
If the algebraic sign is included, of 
course, the average current is zero since 
you have as many positive as negative 

Electromagnetic induction 

In 1829, Joseph Henry wound a 
layer of insulated wire on a U-shaped 
iron core and found that it made a very 
powerful magnet when energized. The 
illustration in Fig. 2 shows the electro- 
magnet with a significant addition. 
Henry found that when the switch was 
closed, there was little or no sparking; 
however, when the switch was opened, 
there was a large and vigorous spark — 
much more energetic than could be ob- 
tained from the battery alone. In 1831, 
Michael Faraday found that a ^ctnul 
winding not o lee tri call v connected to 
the first would show an electrical im- 
pulse when the battery was first con- 
nected and also when the circuit was 
opened. This is termed electromag- 
netic induction. A changing current in 
the primary circuit induces a voltage in 
the secondary 

To duplicate the experiment, it is not 
nccessarv to wind a lot of wire, al- 
though this could be done using a large 
iron nail. Small* cheap transformers 
(for example, 12 V. 300 mA output) 
are often made with the "E" and i * 
core pieces not interlca\ed. If you pry 
open the metal frame, the "1" will fall 
off in one piece. With a single D cell. 

Fig* L When the circuit is closed, a 4i D' 
celt will drive about an ampere through 
the circuit and the bail will kick out 

you can investigate the magnet proper- 
ties and the primary sparking. With an 
analog voltmeter on the other winding. 
you can investigate the induction. The 
analog meter is specified because it 
shows transient voltages belter. You 
can see how far the needle kicks, 
whereas a digital meter just flashes 
digits Loo fast to follow. 

You really do not need a switch. You 
can open and close the circuit just by 
touching the wire to ihe battery. How- 
ever, if you are holding both sides of 
the circuit when you break it, you can 
get a rousing shock even with just the 
1.5 volt battery- The spark voltage is 
many times higher. We will gel back to 
this shortly. 


Another property to be investigated 
is capacitance. When people were work- 
ing with static electricity, a standard 




Fig. 2. Vie electromagnet and electromag- 
netic induction. When the current is estab- 
lished in the primary circuit, energy is 
stored in the magnetic field. When the cur- 
rent is interrupted, this energy is dissi- 
pated in the form of one or more arcs. 

device used was the ^condenser" or 
Leyden jar. The Leyden jar was a glass 
jar with foil on the outside and the in- 
side with no electrical connection be- 
tween them. There was usually an 
insulating cork with a rod sticking 
through that contacted the inside foil. 
With an electrostatic generator you 
could "charge up" the jar — and the 
spark that ensued when it was dis- 
charged was much more vigorous than 
what could be obtained from the elec- 
trostatic generator alone. 

As an experiment, take a 9-volt tran- 
sistor battery, an analog voltmeter with 
a 10 or 12 volt scale, and an electro- 
lytic capacitor with a 1000 or 2000 ixF 
rating (of course, with a 9 or more volt 
rating). Touch one of the capacitor 
leads to the battery, and connect the 
other to the battery through the volt- 
meter, observing polarity. The voltme- 
ter will initially jump to a 9 volt reading 
(it may even overshoot a bit) and then 
the voltage reading will taper off, 
eventually winding up at zero. The ca- 
pacitor is now charged, and its voltage 
is equal to the battery voltage so the 
voltmeter reads zero. 

Short the capacitor with something, 
and you will see a substantial spark. If 
you short the capacitor on a piece of 
printed circuit board, it may even blow 
a hole in the foiL Note that shorting the 
battery itself will not make a visible 
spark. The capacitor stored energy 
from the battery over a period of time 
and released it in a much shorter pe- 
riod — therefore the vigorous spark. 

Stored energy 

In both the inductor and the capaci- 
tor, the energy is taken up relatively 
slowly and the spark is evidence of the 
sudden release of the stored energy. In 
the inductor, the energy is stored in 
building the magnetic field. This is a 
form of kinetic energy and quite analo- 
gous to the action of a hammer. You 
store energy of motion swinging the 
hammer, and the hammer imparts the 
energy to a nail in the few milliseconds 
that it takes for the nail to stop the 
hammer head. The energy stored in the 
inductor is: 

Continued on page 28 




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Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 27 



■+* xj 


*j = 




* XJ- 

* = MINUS — -+* 


Fig, 3. The imaginaiy operator "j*\ 

Secrets of Transmission Lines 

co n tini ted fro m p age 27 

W = (L*r)/2 joules or wall seconds 


L is inductance in Henrys 

i is current in amperes 

If Lhe indue Lance had hecn large 
enough and you measured the current 
when the connection was first made, 
you would .see that lhe current started 
at zero and built up slowly. The rate at 
which the current builds is: 








Fig. 4. The vector distance from Albany to 
Schenectady. If we define the plus direc- 
tion as east and the +/ direction as north, 
then the minus direction is west and the -j 
direction is south. The patlu or vector dis- 
tance, is -9 + jl2 miles, or I5/126.H7 

2S 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

d/d, - E/L amperes per second 



E = volts 

L is inductance in henry s 

On lhe other hand, the energy stored 
in the capacitor is potential energy. U 
is analogous to the energy stored in a 
spring when it is compressed or 
stretched. The energy in the capacitor 

W = (C*E 2 )/2 joules 


C is capacitance in farads 

The voltage across the capacitor is 
given by: 

E = Q/C volts 


Q = charge in coulombs 

but Q is equal to the integral of i*d . 
A little AC math 

In order to go through some of the 
subsequent explanations, it becomes 
necessary to resort to some vector at- 
gehra, which sounds a little more 
frightening than it actually is. Suppose 
that you tell the air traffic controller 
that you are departing at 200 mph. You 
haven't told him where to find you. At 
the end of an hour you could he any- 
where on a circle of 200 mile radius. 
However if you tell him that you are 
departing at 200 mph on a course of 
90 degrees, he will know thai at the 
end of an hour he will find you at a 
point 200 miles to the east. 

The latter is a vector quantity. You 
know where it starts, how fast it is go- 
ing, and in which direction. Quantities 
that have no direction — such as dollars, 
watts, temperature, and population — are 
called sc£dan\ 

One of the first things we have to 
find out about is the "imaginary" op- 
erator "j". Suppose that we wish to as- 
sign an operator that will rotate a vec- 
tor 90 degrees in a counterclockwise 

direction. Referring to Fig, 3, let us as- 
sume that we have a vector one unit 
long pointing east. If we apply the op- 
erator "j" once, the vector is now 
north. Applying the operator a second 
time leaves the vector west. But west is 
equal to minus east. Therefore, j*j or j 2 
is equal lo a minus one and j = \/-l — 
and there is no such number! 

Charles Prole us Steinmetz worked 
in the General Electric laboratories in 
Schenectady, New York, He was fond 
of saying that there is nothing more 
imaginary about imaginary numbers 
lhan there was about the distance be- 
tween Albany and Schenectady. 

■ w 

Referring lo Fig, 4, and defining + 
as cast and +j as north, we see that we 
could describe the distance as -9 + j!2 

Further, using the Pythagorean theo- 
rem we can compute the straighi-line 
distance as: 

V'[{9*9) + {12*12}1 = 15 

clist = 


angle - 180 - arclan (12/9) = 
53,13= 126.87 decrees 


The first of these descriptions is in 
rectangular or Cartesian coordinates 
and the second with a length and an 
angle is in polar coordinates. When 
vectors have to be added or subtracted, 
they are most easily done in rectangu- 
lar coordinates. Vector multiplication 
and division are most easily done in 
polar coordinates. 

Another useful relationship is 
Euler's equation. When we describe a 
vector such as the one above as 15 
miles/ 1 26.87 degrees we see that this 
is really a shorthand wav of describing 
Euler's equation as shown in Fig. 5. 
Euler's equation is a way ol transform- 
ing between coordinate systems. 

Back to components 

Now let us consider some AC cases. 
Our instantaneous AC voltage is de- 
scribed as: 

V = V* si n(w*t) volts 
(2-8) ° 


/ V \ ' 

/ \ i\ I i \ i i /i i / 

40* 80* \ 120* 160" \00* 240* /28D° 320' / 

IRAD $RAD 3 RAD \ 4 RAD / 5 RAD 6 RAD 

\ ieRAD\ / / 2 7i RAD 

v V / 



1* 7 = 8,6oos8 > 


Fig, 5, Eider's equation. The symbol e represents the natural logarithm base. 2 J IS, The 
term Ae** describes the location of the tip of a vector of length A rotated through an angle ft 
(2-5) Ae>* = Acos0+jA cos 

(2-6) Ae* & - A cos 8 - jA cos 9 
(2-7) M Z 35.54° = 8.6 e ^ 4 * 

V o is the peak AC voltage 
w is angular frequency 2*p*f in ra- 
dians per second 
f is cycles per second, or hertz 
t is lime in seconds 

Note that we could have written this: 

V = V *e jwl 
(2-9) ° 

And for the inductor, we noted in 
eqn (2-2) that: 

d/d = E/L 

i i 

and, rearranging, 
V = L*(d/d i ) 










Fig, 6- The pendulum. 

Note here that we have substituted the 

instantaneous voltage, and from (2-8): 

V o *sin(wt) = L*(6Jd) 
and, rearranging, 

d=(V o /L)*sin(w=« c t)*d l 

Integrating gives 

i = -[V o /(w*L)]*cos(w*t) + constant 

The constant can be neglected be- 
cause it pertains to transient conditions 
and we are concerned only with 
steady-state conditions here. 

Now, from the curves of Fig. 5, we 
see that: 

-V o *cos(w*t) = V o *sin[(w*t) - 901 


i = [V o /(w*L)]*sin[(w*t) - 90] 

What this tells us is that the inductor 
cun-ent lags the applied voltage by 90 
degrees. In most AC problems we are 
interested in the average results over 
many cycles, and so we carry the (w*t) 
term implicitly and simply neglect to 
write it down. Also, wc learned that the 
operator "j" would rotate the vector by 
90 degrees. Making use of both of these 
conventions, we may rewrite (2-13) as: 

Continued on page 36 

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73 Amateur Radio Today ■ September 1999 29 

Number 30 on your Feedback card 

Getting Your Foot 
in the Public Service Door 

Here $ how to get your club involved — and appreciated. 

Charles M. Seay, Sr. KN4HL 

106 South Main Street 

Dickson TN 37055 

The January 1 999 issue oi' Law & 
Order magazine contained an 
article describing the benefits to 
local police departments of operations 
with amateur radio clubs and their mem- 
bers. The circulation of this magazine is 
about 38,000, mainly to police chiefs 
and supervisors. January is dedicated to 
communications subjects, and amateurs 
are definitely communicators. 

Yes, amateur radio operators are 
communicators. In fact, its our spe- 
cialty. Now is the time for local ama- 
teurs and amateur clubs to approach 
local piil ice depart men is and other su- 
pervisory personnel about joint opera- 
tions for special occasions. The 
occasion can be a parade, a school 
function such as a basketball or fool- 
ball game, or a county fair Anywhere 
large crowds galher offers an opportu- 
nity for amateur radio operators to 
show local police departments how 
they can help conserve manpower. Po- 
lice chiefs are interested in conserving 
manpower because it directly affects 
their department's budget. 

During special events such as Hallow- 
een, parades, or school functions, all po- 
lice departments are short-handed. Any 
free help will be gratefully accepted. 

The hardest part is getting your first 
assignment. Police departments are 
political in nature and guard their turf 
vigorously Hxplain to your local chief 
just what you or your club can do for 
their department. During school 
events, police officers are usually as- 
signed to the activity. Those officers 
can't be every where. How many times 
have you heard of someone's car being 
broken into while the owner uas in the 
gym watching the basketball game? It 

Just remember one thins. You arc 
not police officers and have no police 
powers. You are communicators. Your 
group can patrol the parking areas to 
discourage anyone from breaking into 
parked vehicles. This activity noi only 
provides a more secure area, but also 
frees up officers for more important 
duties such as answering emergency 

Designate one club member to be 
your local dispatcher with access to 
the communications center of the po- 
lice department. Your group u<e> ama- 
teur frequencies to report any 
suspicious activity and the investiga- 
tion is assigned to a uniformed officer. 
You've done your job. You've reported 

what you have observed and you 
haven't tied up police frequencies that 
are probably monitored by the vandals 
and crooks. 

After one or two successful joint op- 
erations, it will be a snap to expand 
your service into other areas of public 

Local emergency management agen- 
cies need people trained in communi- 
cations when disasters strike. It might 
be the devastation of a Hood, a tor- 
nado, or a toxic spill. Emergency man- 
agement agencies need manpower to 
access damage reports or lo notify 
people in areas of danger during a 
toxic spill. Amateur radio operators 
can provide a valuable service to these 
agencies, thereby freeing up police of- 
ficers and other emergency personnel 
for more important jobs in protecting 
lives and property. 

The johs are out there, It is our job to 
cultivate the opportunities that present 
themselves. It takes time. Management 
personnel need to meet your club 
members. They must convince them- 
selves thai you and your club members 
are responsible and can handle the job. 

As your club gains the confidence of 
your local agencies, other agencies 

30 73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 

will be easier to approach with your 
ideas. You can use local department 
heads and supervisors as references. 
Once a local department has used your 
club for activities, other department 
heads will be more acceptable to joint 

I must stress the importance of invit- 
ing your local chief or department 
head to your club meeting. Good rela- 
tions with local government officials 
are your club's responsibility. Ask the 
chief to speak to your club members. 
He will be the key to a successful joint 

After an operation has been agreed 
upon, you musi do what the chief or 
department head wants done in a pro- 
fessional manner — and no more. The 
one thing that chiefs fear is that a club 
member will gel hurt 7 or show the de- 
partment in a bad light. This kind of 
activity can devastate your club's rela- 
tionship with a department. Ii will 
guarantee that you will not be asked to 
perform any other public services. In 
these kinds of operations, one bad 
apple spoils the rest. 

Ask the chief, department head, or 
supervisor to provide training to club 
members before your planned activity. 
It will provide your club members 
valuable insight as to how that depart- 
ment wants the operations conducted 
and the department will be better satis- 
fied that club members can handle the 

After the operation, make sure you 
meet with the department head or chief 
to see if anything was done wrong. It 
will let the chief know that your club 
members are really trying to satisfy the 
requirements of the department. 

Amateur radio operations in the 
name of public service to your local 
community are a bedrock of what our 
hobby is all about It is the "service" in 
Amateur Radio Service. With more 
and more demand being placed upon 
our frequency spectrum, we must show 
that we as license holders are provid- 
ing a valuable service to our local 
communities. This is one way of prov- 
ing our worth. 

Many amateur radio operators are 

also trained weather spotters for 
United States Weather Service, Even 
Doppler radar cannot see what the hu- 
man eyeball sees. They provide infor- 
mation to meteorologists when con- 
ditions are present for the formation of 
severe weather. Weather spotters help 
make it possible for the weather ser- 
vice to issue warnings to people in the 
affected areas. 

For the past several years, our local 
amateur radio club has participated 
with the local police department at 
Halloween. On many Halloween nights, 
our club members have driven around 
the city with very little to report. In the 
past we have reported fires, drivers 
driving in an erratic manner, and acts 
of vandalism. On those nights where 
there was very little to report, you 
must keep in mind that someone might 
be watching you and you may have 
kept them from doing something they 
might regieL The service ciub members 
provide may be twofold: observation 

Continued on page 37 


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73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 31 

Number 32 on your FeedbacK card 

Simple RF Signal Generator 

Add this handy piece of test gear to your bench. 

J. Frank Brumbaugh W4LJD 

P.O. Box 30 - c/o Defendi ni 

Salinas PR 00751-0030 

A good RF signal generator 
covering from below ihe 1 60 
meter hand 10 above ihe 10 
meter band with no Nkips in coverage 
is a very handy piece of test equipment 
for the sen ice bench in the shack. Top 
qualily. very well shielded signal gen- 
erators can cost upward of $1,000, but 
such extremes are not needed in the 
usual ham shack. 

There are a number of commercial 
signal generators thai are quite ad- 
equate bui start at around S 1 SO. That is 
loo much money, especially when you 
can easily build a signal generator that 
is as lunid or heller for no more than 
S10 or SIS in parts, not including the 
air dielectric tuning capacitor and en- 
closure. However you can build from 
pieces of u notched printed circuit hoard 
a better shielded enclosure than you 


can buy, and you can do il for pennies. 
The signal generator described here 
is at least as useful as a SI 50 commer- 
cial model, vet it is very simple, easy 
to construct, and (host of all) requires 
very few common parts. The only dif- 
ficult (read: expensive) component 
needed \-* ihe air dielectric tuning ea- 
pacitor* As this is being written, many 
sizes are available from: Dan's Small 

Parts and Kits, P.O. Box 3634, 
Missoula MT 59806. 

I designed this signal generator to 
use a 150 pF tuning capacitor. Danny 
lists one at $7,50. However, if you can 
find a 365 pF tuning capacitor from an 
old lube radio or at ihe bottom of some 
ham's junk box, il can be used in series 
with a 330 pF NPO disc capacitor in 
place of the specified 1 50 pF capacitor. 
Other combinations of variable and 
fixed series capacitors will also work. 
Or, you could tailor the four toroid in- 
ductances to cover the desired fre- 
quency ranges with whatever tuning 
capacitor you have available. 

This signal generator (see Figs. 1 
and 2) uses a Franklin oscillator at its 
heart. Although this oscillator requires 
two FETs. it is not only foolproof — it 
has to oscillate — but il is also the most 
stable wide range oscillator I have ever 

Further, the Franklin oscillator uses 
no tapped coils, no capacilive voltage 
dividers, and no special parts. The par* 
allel tank circuit is grounded, making 
band-switching simple, and the four 
torn id inductances are switched in in- 
dividually to provide full coverage 
with overlaps between bands. There 

are only four resistors, four capacitors, 
and two diodes needed to complete 
this two-FKT oscillator, in addition to 
ihe lank circuit. 

The oscillator is followed bv an FET 
source follower for buffering, which 
drives an NPN bipolar broadband am- 
plifier. This, in turn, feeds amplified 
RF through an impedance matching 
transformer and a -6 dB 50 ohm at- 
tenuator, providing RF at 50 ohms im- 
pedance, either direct or through a 
built-in switched attenuator, to a BNC 
output connector on the panel. 

Fig. 2 illustrates the attenuator. RF 
from the -6 dB attenuator, which ter- 
minates the active circuits, is fed 
through RG-I74/U coax to one wiper 
of a dual wafer sw itch having al least 
seven positions. Attenuator resistors 
are wired onto the two wafers to pro- 
vide from zero to -30 dB attenuation of 
the RF available from the signal gen- 
erator. In addition, position 7 on this 
switch provides only a 51 ohm 
shielded resistance, which is applied 
across the receiver antenna connector 
when measuring internal receiver noise. 
Tliis is nol normally a part of a signal 
generator and is therefore optional. It 
is provided so a shielded 51 ohm 

32 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 


» • 











G3 X >g29 





D1 02 











T0S2 0M 


— rPr^il 






Fig. L Schematic diagram, 

termination will be readily available 
whenever needed. 

The wafer switch 1 used for the at- 
tenuator does not have a grounded 
shield between wafers, which would 
have been preferable. Because of this, 
there is bound to be some leakage be- 
tween wafers that will affect the actual 
attenuation level- Still, it does provide 
different levels of attenuation and 
maintains the RF output at 50 ohms 


Power supply: 12 to 15 VDC, At 
13.8 VDC, current drain is 42 mA. 

Frequency range: 1 .6 to 32 MHz in 
four bands, as follows: band A, L6 to 

343 MHz; band B, 34 to 7.4 MHz; 
band C, 7.3 to 17 MHz; and band D, 
15,5 to 32 MHz, 

RF output: At 50 ohms impedance, 
output is remarkably level. Band A: 
low end 1.47 Vp-p. At high end, 1.7 
Vp-p. Band B: At low end, 1.98 Vp-p. 
At high end, 2 Vp-p. Band C: At low 
end, 2 Vp-p. At high end, 2.6 Vp-p. 
Band D: At low end, 2,8 Vp-p. At high 
end, 2.26 Vp-p. Note: These levels were 
measured as RMS voltages and calcu- 
lated for peak-to-peak equivalents. 

Attenuator (decibels): 0, -3, -6, -10, 
-20, -30. 

Stability: Worst case measured at 30 
MHz from a cold start, ambient tem- 
perature 82° F. Frequencies were mea- 
sured at ten-minute intervals to an 

FROMRRR15 \ p 





R24^ R27 





R20< R2J< R26 


R30< R16 

R19C R22< R2S< 626 

* ®"t? 












-20 dB 

6 -30 dB 


Sin ** 

Fig. 2. Schematic diagram of step attenuator. 

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73 Amateur Radio Today » September 1999 33 

Photo A. F mm panel view. 

accuracy of ± 1(H) H/ and rounded off 
lo the nearest kHz. After 30 minutes. 
die frequencv had drifted down 72 
kHz, or less than one quarter of one 

Stability is a result not only of the 
Franklin oscillator but also because of 
the very small amount of heat gener- 
ated by the circtiiL With 42 mA at 1 3.8 
VDC, 0.58 waits of heal is generated, 
so once the signal generator has 
warmed up. there will be very little 
heai-induced drift. Aiding in thermal 
stability is the thermal inertia of the 
relatively large tuning capacitor, and 
the fairly large loroid cores in induc- 
tances LI through L4, Because CI and 
any one o( the inductances are the only 
frequency determining components, 
only they can he affected by the small 
amount of heat generated by transistors 
and resistors. 

How it works 

Q 1 and Q2 are asymmetrically cross- 
connected in a way similar to an 

astable multivibrator. Because of toler- 
ances in resistors and slight differ- 
ences in the FETs, the latter will draw 

slightly different current when power 
is applied. The capacitivc cross-con- 
nections ensure that oscillation will 
begin immediately and be maintained 
as long as power is applied. 

The parallel tuning tank, CI, and 
one of the inductances, LI through L4, 
is lightly coupled to the oscillator at 
the junction of capacitor C2 and C3. 

RF is coupled from the drain of Q2 
to the gate of Q3, configured as a 
source follower. Operating voltage for 
the oscillator and source follower are 
provided h\ I I a 9 volt regulator 

RF developed across RFC1 is ca- 
paeiiively coupled to the base of Q4, 
an NPN bipolar broadband RF ampli- 
fier essentially Hal over the range of 
the signal generator and beyond. 
Negative feedback and emitter degen- 
eration are incorporated to provide 
broadband amplification. The output 
impedance of Q4 is approximately 200 
ohms, Tl. a 4:1 impedance matching 
transformer, injects RF at about 50 
ohms impedance to a -6 dB attenuator 
lo provide a stable and solid 50 ohm 
RF output. 

RF from the -6 dB attenuator is di- 
rected through RG-174/U coax to a 
connector on the rear of the enclosure 
for use in monitoring exact output fre- 
quency. Another short length of RG- 
174/U coax takes RF from the -6 dB 
attenuator to one wiper of a waler on 
the attenuator switch, See Fig- 2. This 
switch selects from dB (the output 

Photo fl, U(ft skte view: Etui re circuitry is on small PC hoard, with band switch forward 
34 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

from the -6 dB internal attenuator) to 
-30 dB in steps at -3, -6, -10, -20 t 
or -30 dB. The wiper of the second 
wafer connects to the BNC RF connec- 
tor on the panel. (The next switch posi- 
tion, number 7, selects only the shielded 
51 ohm resistive termination for measur- 
ing receiver noise, if included, ) 


I recommend using a small general 
purpose printed circuit board for great- 
est ease in wiring. I used a Radio 
Shack 276-150 PC hoard that provides 
more than enough room for all the cir- 
cuitry as well as all four loroid induc- 
tances. Of course, you can build it 
"dead bug"-Nt\ le if you ^ish. Just re- 
member Lhat frequencies as high as 30 
MHz are present, so follow good engi- 
neering practice with short leads, and 
use the types of components specified 
in the parts list. When the inductances 
are trimmed to cover the exact ranges 
desired and wired into the circuit, use a 
non-acid containing "goop" or bees- 
wax lo secure them to the PC board so 
that they will not shift or break the fine 
wire used to uind them, 

I used a 365 pF tuning capacitor 
from my junk box (the last one), with a 
300 pF NPO capacitor in series with it 
for tuning. This method, while provid- 
ing the desired capacitivc range, tends 
to compress the high frequency ends 
of the dial. 1 bent up a bracket to 
mount the capacitor and added a Jack- 
son Brothers vernier salvaged from an 
ancient Eico sweep generator. I used a 
circular dial plate left over from cut- 
ting a meter hole in another project, 
with white card stock adhered to one 
side, and arcs drawn and calibration 
added after construction. (These arc 
not stipulated in the parts list, because 
each instrument is going lo be a little 

I used a Ten-Tec TG-34 enclosure, 
about 4" x 4" x 3" high, for my own 
signal generator, although a case made 
of unetched printed circuit boards 
would allow discretion in the size of 
the panel (which determines how large 
a dial can be used) as well as provide 
belter shielding. However, because I 
bolted my PC board with all circuitry 
on the left end of my tuning capacitor. 

Photo G Right side view showing attenuator 
switch and frequency counter connector 

and the inductances are all on toroidal 
forms, there is a little stray RF inside 
my enclosure. Probably only the stator 
of the tuning capacitor could be a 
source of stray RF in the enclosure so 
I expect it is at least as well shielded as 
a $150 commercial generator, and prob- 
ably a bit better, especially considering 
the low level of RF being generated. 

Because of tolerances — no two lor- 
oid cores of the same type are identi- 
cal, and no two tuning capacitors rated 
identically are ever quite the same — 
the winding data given for LI through 
L4 are what worked for me with my 
specific cores and particular tuning ca- 
pacitor and series capacitor. Because 
your parts will be somewhat different, 
you may have to adjust the number of 
turns on each tuning inductance to get 
the proper frequency coverage and 
adequate overlap between bands. 

I suggest using the winding data 
given, but adding a few turns before 
checking the frequency range of each 
hand. Thus, I suggest you start with LI 
on Band A, getting the low frequency 
limit a bit below L8 MHz, the low end 
of 160 meters, and then check the high 
frequency end. This becomes the fre- 
quency a bit higher than what you will 
set the low frequency end of L2 at 10 
provide overlap. Continue in this man- 
ner with L3 and LA Your actual bands 
will, no doubt, be somewhat different 
from mine, but as long as you can gen- 
erate RF from less than 160 meters lo 
more than 10 meters with no skips be- 
tween bands, you will have a stable 
and very useful instrument. 

General comments 

In the pans list, resistors R13 
through R27 and R30 through R32 are 

first listed with the standard 1% resis- 
tance values for the attenuator, and 
then followed by a suggested 5% 1/4 
watt resistor Actually, little will be 
lost in an instrument this simple if you 
use the nearest 5% resistors in these 

However, for the purists out there, it 
is possible to make resistors of the ex- 
act values by carefully filing the bod- 
ies of lower value resistors while 
monitoring the value of resistance with 
an ohmrneier To exclude dampness 
from the filed portions of resistors, ap- 
ply some Q-Dope®, clear fingernail 
polish, or a product called "Hard As 
Nails" (used to overcoat nail polish). 
When all toroids are checked and 
cover the desired frequencies, use one 
of these products to coat them and 
hold the winding in place as well as to 
keep out moisture. 

Ql and Q2 must be the same type, 
and it is probably preferable that the 
same type be used for Q3. I used 
J309s, but 2N4416 or J308 should 
work as well. The 2N4400 I used for 
Q4 can be just about any small signal 
NPN transistor as long as the F t is at 
least 300 MHz (and preferably higher). 

Do not change the values or types of 
C2, C3, C4, C5, and C6, although if 
you cannot locate 18 pF NPO capaci- 
tors for C2 and C3, you can substitute 
15 pF or 22 pR However, both capaci- 
tors must be marked with the same value 
and be NPO. If you don't have an FT37- 
43 ferrite toroid for Tl, you can use an 
FT5043 with no change in windings. 

Where a 0.1 jiF capacitor is shown in 
Fig. 1 in parallel with a resistor, use a 
monolithic capacitor, axial if possible, 
and solder it across the resistor before 
adding them to the circuit. 

For most casual use around the shack, 
il will not be necessary to use the built-in 
attenuator. You can just wire a potenti- 
ometer between the junction of R14 
and R15 to ground and connect the 
wiper to the BNC RF output connector 
on the panef Adjusting the pot will 
change the RF level, but the imped- 
ance will no longer be 50 ohms. Or, if 
you have constructed the switched at- 
tenuator described in the ARRL Hand- 

Continued on poge 38 


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73 Amateur Radio Today ■ September 1999 35 

r I 

Parts List 



HI, H4 h R7 


R2, R3. R5 

1 me§ 

R6, R1 1 

i 00 ohms 


560 ohms 




10 ohms 


47 o^ms 

R13, R1 5-16. 

tSQ.Sotims infuse 150) 


37 3 ohms 1% (use 36) 

R19. R21 

96 2 ohms v*. (use i00) 


70.7 ohms !*o (use 68) 

R22, R24 

61 Ohms t% (use 62) 


247 5 ohms 1% {use 240) 

R2S. R27 

53,2 ohms 1** (use 51) 


789.7 ohms 1% (use 820) 


51 ohms 



R30 f R32 

292 ohrm *% (use 300) 


17 6 ohms i°tai(use 1 8) 

Ail resistors 1/4 W 5% unless otherwise noted 


150 pF a- r ceectr h**ng cap (see ie«f 


^8 pF NPO aiSC (15 or 22 pF 



100 pF COG monolflhic capacitor 


56 pF GOG or NPO disc 


0.1 jjF monolithic axial 


1N914, 1N4148, etc, silicon small 
signal diode 


LED. your choice 


DC connector, your choce 


Connector to: f req coufler. your chace 


BMC panel-mount coa* female 
conned or 


FT37-61. 29T s30 (see textf 


T6B-£. 45T »3Q (see testtj 


T5Q-2, 1ST#30{seslext) 


T37-6, 11T ff30 (see text} 


J 309 {see tsxm 


2N4400, 2N4401 . 2K?PPP. &o. I 


1 mH RFC J 


SP4T rataiy swtch 


2P Outai wafer. 7 o* more pes. Should 
have gmderj shiekf between wafers 


SPST Toggle or slide switch 


FT37-43 12 frlilar turns ^ 


78L09 reguiaior 

book, you can use it outboard and not 
build-in the specified attenuator. 

Changes you might want to make 

Frequency coverage can easily be 
extended above and below the speci- 
fied ranges by adding additional in- 
ductances and positions on the band 
switch. Within reason, of course. It 
probably won't work at UHF! 

If a higher level of RF output is de- 
sired, one or two MMIC wideband am- 
plifiers can be added to maintain the 
50 ohms output impedance. Or. for re- 
alk higher RF output, uui could build 
and install the four-stage RF amplifier 
described on page 135 of WIFB's QRP 
Notebook. It is fiat from I to 40 MHz 
and provides 40 dB gain at 50 ohms im- 
pedance, hul this may be loo high for 
the internal attenuator. 

As designed, this signal generator 
can also be operated portable with ei- 
ther a 9 V or 1 2 V baiter v. If a 9 V bat- 
tery is used, eliminate UL In this case, 
RF output will he lower and will de- 
cline as the hatter v a^es. 

If you desire, you could install an 
LCD frequency dial such as the 
"K1MG Digital Clock/Counter' avail- 
able from Blue Skv Engineer ins Com- 
pany, 400 Blossom Hill Road. Los 
Gatos CA 95032. Write for the current 
price — hut be forewarned that this will 
probably cost about twice as much as 
the rest of the instrument. 

Y2K Portable J-Pole 

continued from page 18 

ll remains to be seen whether the 
year 2000 will bring some special, ur- 
gent need for ham radio communica- 
tions, hut I see Y2K as a good excuse 
to review and upgrade my preparations 
for emergency communications. If 
Y2K turns out to be a dud. there \ al- 
ways another disaster waiting around 
the corner somewhere, sometime. If 
you get ready now, Murphy's Law dic- 
tates it will happen somewhere else 

Note; A parts kit consisting of cou- 
pler PC board, trimmer capacitor, and 
ladderline is available. Order #JPK-2 
from Leclrokit, 401 W, Bouarl Rd.. 

Sandusky OH 44870, The price is $15 
postpaid in the USA and Canada. 
Questions or comments? Please use 
my E-mail address shown above. 

Secrets of Transmission Lines 

continued from page 29 

t = [V /(j*w*L)| amperes 
(2-14)' * 

The term (j*w*L) is called the in- 
ductive reactance. It describes the op- 
position lo AC current How just as 
resistance does for DC in Ohm's law. 

In practical inductors, there is al- 
ways a resistance in the circuit too. 
Since the resistor lends lo draw current 
in phase with the voltage, the terms 
combine as follows: 

i = V/[R + (j*w*L)] 

The term [R + (j*w*L)| is called wi- 
pethuwe. Impedance pla\s the same 
role in relating voltage and current for 
AC as resistance plays for DC. We will 
see shortly that capacitance may also 
enter into impedance. 

For the capacitor, we noted that: 

V = Q/C volts 


= the integral of current with re- 
spect to lime, measured in coulombs or 
ampere seconds 

If the capacitor drew an average of 
one ampere in the first second, a half 
ampere in the second, and a quarter 

ampere in the third and so forth, then 
Q would be equal to I + 1/2 + 1/4 + ... 
Now, applying an AC voltage, we 

V*sin<w*0 = Q/C 

Differentiating the above expression 
with respect to l, wc obtain: 

d n /d,= |V *w*C*cos(w s,1 t)] amperes 

36 73 Amat&ur Radio Today ■ September 1999 

Note thai if Q is the integral of cur- 
rent with respect to lime, then dVd t is 

Taking again the liberty that for 
most problems we are interested only 
in long-term averages we may write 
that for a capacitor 

i = V/[-l/(j*w*C)] amperes 

Note the similarity and the differ- 
ences of the result for the inductor and 
the capacitor Whereas the instanta- 
neous current in the inductor is given 
by -cos(w*t), the instantaneous current 
for the capacitor is given by 
+cos(w*t). Also, where the inductive 
reactance is given by (j*w*L), the ca- 
pacilive reactance is given by -1/ 
(j*w*C). We also see that inductive re- 
actance is directly proportional to in- 
ductance* whereas capacitive reactance 
is inversely proportional to capacitance. 
The reactances are usually referred to 
as Xj and X c respectively. 

An interesting case occurs in the 
event that X L = -X^ If the two ele- 
ments are connected in parallel and 
both are theoretically perfect with no 
losses, it takes no current on the main 
line to excite a large current in both 
elements. The case is similar to the 
pendulum shown in Fig. 6. 

At the end of the swing, all of the en- 
ergy is stored in the form of potential 
energy like a capacitor. At the bottom 
of the swing t all of the energy is stored 
in the motion of the bob, like the mag- 
netic field of the inductor As the bob 
continues its swing to the other end of 
the travel, all of the energy is con- 
verted again into potential energy in 
the capacitor 

In the parallel circuit the energy sim- 
ply sloshes back and forth between the 
inductor and the capacitor If no losses 
existed in the circuit, and the pendu- 
lum dissipated no power, both would 
continue forever! 


Having seen some of the characteris- 
tics of reactive elements, next time we'll 
deal with some real circuits and discuss 
power factor, power dissipation in an al- 
ternating current circuit, and the differ- 
ence between kilowatts and kilovars. 

Getting Your Foot in the Public 
Service Door 

continued from page 31 

and prevention. With cither type of ac- 
livity, your club, the police depart- 
ment, and your community wins. You 
can feel good about doing your part. 
It's a great way to add value to your li- 
cense and your hobby. It may also help 
protect our frequencies. 

Make it a point to contact your local 
police chief or commissioner and talk 
with him about a joint activity with 
their department. If they have any 
questions about how well the opera- 
tion works, ask them to call Chief Rick 
Chandler of the Dickson, Tennessee, 
Police Department at (615) 446-5403. 
He has been involved with our local 
amateur radio group for several years. 
There have been no complaints. 


continued from page 7 

•| won't let a flat tire get me down!" Tom said, 
without despair. 

These appeared in the December 1998 issue 
of Spurious Emissions, the newsletter of the In- 
dian River ARC, Roy Hill W6QCM, editor, and 
were reprinted in the February 1 999 issue of the 
ARNS Bulletin, 



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73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 37 

1 38 on your Feedback card 

Simple Direct-Conversion 


For QRPers and receiver aficionados in general. 

Craig Kendrick Sellen 

c/o Mallard Meadows RHC 

476 Belmont St., Room 405 

Waymart PA 1 8472 

An essential ingredient Tor the 
newcomer in amateur radio is 
a good receiver, one that is 
sensitive enough to pick up signals 
thai are down near the noise level, and 
selective enough to separate adjacent 
signals and provide clear copy. With- 
out such a receiver, you can only look 
forward to "unanswered" CQs and lots 
o\ frustration. However, a giKHl commu- 
nications receiver can cost anywhere 
from $250 to $500, and most beginners 
don't have thai kind of munev. Kven a 
good used receiver can cost $150, 

As an alternative, a direct-conver- 
sion receiver should be tried. Il per- 
forms well over a range of 3,5 to 4.3 
MH/ on AM, SSB, and CW, and is 
easily constructed at a cost near S30, 
Direct conversion is a much neglected 
type of design that can best be de- 
scribed by comparison with the more 
common system, supcrhctcrodyning. 

In the superhet s\ stern (see Fig, 1). 
the first stage is an RF amplifier This 
is followed by a mixer, where the sig- 
nal is combined with the output of a 
local oscillator. The frequency of the 
latter is a certain amount above or he- 
low lhat ol the RI . and the difference 

is called the intermediate frequency. 
The output of the mixer contains a 
high-frequency component and a low- 
frequency component. These two sig- 
nals are produced by superhelero- 
dyning- lhat is, combining two sig- 
nals to produce one at a frequency 
equal to the sum of die frequencies of the 
original signals, and one at a frequence 
equal to their difference. 

At this point, we filler out the high- 
frequency component and amplify the 
lower in a stage that has high gain and 
a narrow passhand, which affords se- 
lectivity. The output of the IF amplifier 
is sent to a detector, which may be of 
two types: For AM reception, it is an 
envelope detector (a diode followed by 
a low -pass filter). For SSB and CW. a 
product detector lhat is really a second 
mixer, fed by a beat frequency oscilla- 
tor (BFOl is used. The difference 
component of this heterodyning pro- 
cess is an audio signal that is then am- 
plified through one or more stages and 
passed on to phones or a speaker. 

As you can see. there are usually 
four or more stages thai must he prop- 
erly tuned in conjunction with each 
olher for proper signal recovery in a 

superhet receiver. Most quality com- 
munications receivers have two or 
three IF stages, with separate mixers, 
local oscillators, and tuned amplifiers 
for each stage. These complications 
drive the cost of receivers out of the 
reach of a large portion of newcomers 
to the radio hobby. 

The direct conversion technique is a 
much simpler process. The block dia- 
gram of this system is shown in Fig< 1. 
The RF amp supplies the mixer with 
an amplified version of the signal re- 
ceived from the antenna. The mixer is 
also led an RF signal of the same Ire- 
queney as the incoming carrier from a 
local oscillator whose frequency is ad- 
justed by the main tuning dial C26. 
The output of the mixer contains one 
audio frequency signal and one RF 
signal at twice the frequency of the 
original. The RF signal is then filtered 
out by a low-pass filter and we are left 
with an audio signal. This is then am- 
plified b\ one or more stages of high 
gain, and the output is connected to a 
speaker or a pair of phones, 

That's all there is to it. We have none 
of the complexities of dual- or triple- 
conversion superhet receivers, but do 

38 73 Amateur Radio Today * September t999 







IF* oriU 









Fij*. A Superhet (top) and direct-conversion sets compared. 

have good sensitivity, and if we use a 
high-quality, narrowband audio filter, 
we have selectivity that will rival that 
of a superhet unit costing ten to twenty 
times more. The simplicity of operation 
is reflected in the ease of construction. 

Circuit operation 

A comparison of the block diagram 
(Fig. 1) and the schematic diagram 
(Fig* 2) will point out a few differ- 
ences. For economy's sake, an RF am- 
plifier has been omitted from this 
receiver However, the receiver is still 
sensitive enough to pick up many sig- 
nals that would be missed with a cheap 
"communications-type" superhet model. 
Signals from the antenna are coupled 
to the MOSFET mixer, Ql, over the 
tuned LC circuit composed of LI, Cl r 
and C2. Transistor Q2 is the local os- 
cillator and its output is coupled 
through a small silver mica capacitor, 
C28 t to the second gate of Ql. The an 
tenna coil LI, and the oscillator coil 
L2, are wound on small toroidal cores, 
which is an effective way of attaining 
high Q circuits — the basis of the 
selectivity of the receiver's front end. 

The other contributor of selectivity 
in a direct-conversion receiver is the 
audio filter This filter performs two 
functions: It rejects the high frequency 
component of the mixer output, pass- 
ing the audio signal, and it provides a 

large part of the receiver's selectivity 
by virtue of its audio bandpass charac- 
teristics. In this circuit, L3, C5, C7 t and 

C8 comprise the low pass filter Coil 
L3 is a variable TV- width coil, and the 
capacitors are of the mylar type. Ca- 
pacitors CI, C25, C27, and C28 are 
NPO or silver mica types. Op amp ICI 
is a conventional audio amplifier, and 
almost any op amp will work well in 
this circuit. Variable resistor RIO serves 
as a volume control in the standard 
voltage divider mode, and IC2 serves 
as an audio output amplifier. Any one 
of the common audio modules furnish- 
ing 0.5 to 1 watt output can be utilized 
for this purpose- If desired, a head- 
phone jack can be installed. 

A power supply was not incorporated 
into the receiver. A suitable source sup- 
plying 500 mA at 12 V should be used. 
If you intend to use the receiver for 
portable operation, or don't wish to 
construct a supply, six to eight D cells 
in series will work fine. An inexpen- 
sive battery holder can be obtained for 
holding them, It is important to take care 
in observing polarities while connecting 


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> -12V 


Fig* 2. Schematic, 

the supply. To protecl the sensitive 
semiconductors, diode D2 has been 
incorporated. If the wrong polarity is 
applied to the receiver, D2 is reverse- 
biased and will not conduct. If this di- 
ode is not installed, the FETs and ICs 
would be destroyed in the eveni of ac- 
cidental reversal of power supply po- 
larity. However, when incorrect 
polarity is applied, the receiver simply 
will not work, thanks to l he protective 
action of D2, 

Using other frequencies 

The receiver can also be used on 
other frequency bands. Only the LC 

40 73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 

combination al the input of the mixer 
and the tuned circuit of the local oscil- 
lator need modification. For 40- meter 
operation, remove CI. Remove L2 and 
replace it with 15 turns of #22 enam- 
eled wire, wound uniformly spaced on 
a T50-2 toroid core and tapped 7 turns 
from ground end. Also, connect a 225- 
pF silver mica capacitor in parallel with 

For 20 meters remove CI and wind a 
new oscillator coil L2 on a T50-2 tor- 
oid core. It should be 7-1/2 turns of 

Table L Parts list. 

Parts List 



R1-2. RB. 

100k ohms 


560 ohms 


2 2k ohms 

R5. R17-19 

1 00 ohms 

R€~7. R14-15 

10k ohms 

R9, R12 

4.7k ohms 


10k pot w,' S1 SPST switch (fr panel) 

R11, R13 

47k ohms 


27k ohms 


1 ohms 

All resistors 1/4 W unless otherwise noted. 


200 pF NPO disc or silver mica 

C2, C20 

1 00 pF var. tuning cap (fr panel} 


22 pF disc 


22 pF electro 16VWDC 

0.02 |iF mylar 


50 pF eiectro 1 6 WVDC 


0.01 \iF mylar 

CB, C10, C14 

4.7 pF etectro 16 VWDC 

CI 5, CM 

0.1 pFdisc 


0.01 >iF disc 

C16-18, C20, 

100 ^F 16 WVDC 

CI 9 

10 ^F 16 WVDC 


0.05 \iF disc 


0.005 jjF disc 


180 pF MPO disc or silver mica 


47 pF NPO disc or silver mica 


4.7 to 5 pF NPO disc or silver mica 


0.01 pF disc 

Ml capacitors 50 V unless oiherwise noted. 


dual-gaie MOSF£T RCA 40673, 3N140, 


2N3&1S or MPF102 


LF353 duaf op amp 


LM386 power amp 


1N914 signal diode 


1N4O01 diode 


34T #22 enam wire tapped al 1 1 T from 


34T fr22 enam. wire tapped at 5T from 


1 to 50 mhf var. coil [Milter &631 9) or 
color TV convergence coil from junk TV 

Li and L2 arc 

from Palomar I 
IC1. and tC2 a 
Bex 3203, Scol 

wound on a T50-2 toroid core available 
Engineers or Circuit Specialists. 01, Q2 t 
re available from DC Electronics, P.O. 
rtsdale AZ 85257 

#22 enameled wire, evenly spaced and 
Lapped 2-1/2 turns from ground end. 
Remove the 225 pF capacitor across 
C25 if it was installed for 40-meter 

For 10 and 15 meters, LL the an- 
tenna coil, must he replaced with 8 
turns of #22 enameled wire wound on 
aT50-2 toroid. The L2 coil must be re- 
placed with 5 turns of #22 wire, lapped 
at 2 turns from ground end. In winding 
both coils, spread the turns to space 
them evenly around the forms. If you 
wish, some sort of band-switching or 
plug-in coils could be used, 


Making sure that you observe correct 
polarities, connect a 12 V battery to 
the receiver Connect a speaker and an- 
tenna to their respective jacks. Turn 
the audio volume control until vou 
hear the "rushing" sound of the atmo- 
spheric noise. Rotate the preselector 
capacitor C2 slowly. At one point there 
will be a noticeable increase in sound 
in the speaker Carefully adjust C2 for 
this peak. There is only one adjustment 
for receiver alignment, setting the 
value of inductance of 13. This pre- 
vents any RF components from local 
oscillator fecdlhrough or the hetero- 
dyne process from entering the audio 
stages of the receiver. The procedure is 
very simple. Adjust 1.3 until the tuning 
slug is positioned about halfway into 
the coiL This completes the receiver 

Using the receiver 

As you tune across a band, keep the 
front end of the receiver resonant by 
adjusting the preselector capacitor C2. 
You will notice one basic difference in 
receiver operation between the direct- 
conversion receiver and a superhet On 
the conventional receiver there is a 
mode switch that must be adjusted for 
the type of signal you want to receive. 
When this switch is in the SSB/CW 
position, it activates the BFO and 
product detector. It is not possible to 
properly demodulate such signals when 
the switch is in the AM position, which 
directs the signal to a simple envelope 

With the direct-conversion receiver, 
no such switch is necessary and any sig- 
nal (CW, AM. SSB, or FM) iv prop- 
erly detected just by adjusting the 
frequency of the local oscillator, 
which is accomplished by turning C26, 
the main tuning dial. Thus the direct- 
conversion receiver provides many 
advantages over the superheterodyne 
model. It is less expensive, easier to 
build, and simpler to operate. Try it, 
you "II like it! 


For interesting information by Joseph 
J. Carr on the theory of direct-conver- 
sion receivers, see Popular Electronics,, 
August 1997. pages 39ff. 

Neuer shy die 

continued from page 4 

to the then just budding electronics indus- 
try, we also provided 40,000 technically 
experienced men to our military when 
WWII started. I was one of them. I was 
there. The special electronic schools 
were packed with hams, both as instruc- 
tors and as students — where we learned 
all about radio, radar, and sonar. 

Hams developed and pioneered FM, 
NFM SSB, SSTV, and so on. We were in 
the vanguard. It was our repealer sys- 
tems that spawned cellular telephones. 

But that was then and this is now. It's 
been decades since we've contributed 
much to society in payment for the use 
of lens of billions of dollars' worth of 
frequency spectrum. We're not even 
needed for emergencies unless the cellu- 
lar phones — and thai includes the new 
Iridium system — break down. I had an 
opportunity to try out Iridium with a call 
from a ski slope in Aspen to a good 
friend in Miami. Loud and clear, and all 
by satellite, at S7 a minute. 

We could still earn our salt if the 
ARRL directors would get off their 
numb butts and start promoting the 
hobby. When is the last time you saw 
amateur radio portrayed positively in a 
TV show? Or in a magazine article in a 
major magazine? In the news, for that 
matter? We've become the invisible 
hobbv ever since the ARRL closed down 
virtually all high school radio clubs 35 
years ago. 

The one potential I see for amateur ra- 
dio is as a way to get youngsters inter- 
ested in high-tech careers. Before the 
League closed the hi eh school radio 


clubs, 80% of all new amateurs were 
teenagers, and that's according to an 
ARRL study at the time. Further, 80% of 
those went on to high-lech careers as a re- 
sult of this interest. I remember when vir- 
tually all heads of electronics companies 
were hams. 

But Tve written about this endlessly, 
so it's probably snore material. 

Are you a supporter of the League's 
efforts to do a little tinkering with our 
regulations? Do you care? 

I proposed we cut the baloney and 
have one class of license. One. Splinter- 
ing us up into six license classes has not 
helped strengthen the hobby, it's tended 
to help destroy it And ditto the League 
directors and their continued pressure to 
maintain the code barriers. Phooey on 

Paul Schleck K3FL\ in his comments 
to the FCC. mentioned several Morse 
code myths: (1) It gets through when 
nothing else will. Bull, we've had tech- 
nolosv that beats the heck out of CW for 
weak-signal communications. (2) CW 
takes up very little bandwidth. Fiddle- 
slicks. It's the amount of data per unit 
bandwidth that counts. (3) Morse profi- 
ciency makes for better operators. If 
only ! Our worst offenders have been Ex- 
tra class hams. Only two people have 
ever been prosecuted for bad language 
on CB and put in prison. Both were Extra 
class hams. (4) High speed code exams 
keep down the crowding on HF bands. 
Nonsense, when things get crowded, we 
pioneer new communications systems and 
explore underused bands. HF crowding is 
no worse today than 60 years ago — and 
I was there. You know, if we'd change 
from SSB to DSB we could triple or bet- 
ter our occupancy, and with less interfer- 
ence. Unfortunately, Art Collins W0CXX 
put in the fix with generals LeMay and 
Griswald 40 years ago, and the G.E. 
brass refused to push Dr. John Costa's 
superior DSB system. Collins Radio 
made millions. Big business won over 
technology, as usual. 

The ARRL tells the FCC that they're 
speaking for you ? but unless you're a 
CW old-timer, thats a crock. Remem- 
ber 80% of all amateurs have had the 
opportunity and have refused to join the 
League. If the League opinions repre- 
sented those of most amateurs, they'd 
have more like $0% of all hams as mem- 
bers. If vou are not a member, when is 
the last time you got a survey from the 
League askine whv? Il vou are a mem- 
ben when is the last time you got a sur- 
vey asking what you thought about 
something? I've been a member for 61 
years and I"m still waiting for a survey. 
At least the FCC asks before they dump 
on us. The ARRL directors feel they 

Amateur Radio Today « September 1999 41 

know more than wc members 
do, so why should Lhey bother 
10 ask? 


The 73 magazine building 
is right next to the Peterbor- 
ough high school, so I see 
lots of kids walking past the 
place, A few are dressed well, 
but many are wearing baggy 
pants and baseball caps on 
backwards. When I see these 
kids, I know they are unable 
to think for themselves. 
They're busy copying what 
others do. 

A distressingly high per- 
centage of these baggy-pants 
kids are smoking as they 
walk bv. Starling to smoke as 
a teen these days is a sure 
sign of incredible stupidity. 
Kids sure have to be really 
dumb to start a lifelong ex- 
pensive addiction to a drug 
that is going to ruin their 
health and take years off their 

Sorry, hut I don't think much 
more of adults 1 see smoking. 
Tens of millions of smokers 
have managed to kick their 
addiction, which leaves the 
stupid and the people with 
weak wills as the remaining 

Maybe you've noticed that 
the villains in the movies and 
on TV no longer wear black 
hats, they're smoking. When 
you see someone light up in a 
movie you know immediately 
that this is goins to be one of 
the bad guys. 

Back when Camels was ad- 
vertising thai doctors smoked 
'em, it was smart to light up, 
and votf II sec all of ihc now- 
dead movie stars smoking. 
And, like John Wayne, it 
killed most of 'em while they 
were still relatively young. 

Thirty years ago or so, 
when I outlawed smoking in 
my company, I was one of the 
first. Back in 1965, 1 was tiiv- 
ing away cancer- free matches 
at ham tests. I had 'em made 
up specially so they wouldn't 

The Wild West 

Areivt you glad we live in 
a country with town, county, 
state, and federal police, 
backed up by town, county, 

state, and federal courts — 
with town, county, state, and 
federal prisons? Aren't you 
glad wc don't have to live like 
thev used to in the lawless 
West that we've seen de- 
picted in westerns? 

That is. unless you do some 
reading. It turns out that the 
frontier West in the 19th cen- 
tury was a far more civilized, 
more peaceful and safer place 
than America today. They had 
private justice then and it 
worked. Our 13 colonies had 
little izovemmenl law enforce- 
menL It was done privately. 

The sorry fact is that gov- 
ernment hasn't been able to 
do much about crime, Studies 
have shown that having more 
squad cars or police on the 
beat, or even faster police re- 
sponse, has little effect on 
crime rates. 

Are there other systems 
than ours around the world 
that work better? Of course 
there are. But ours has a life 
of its own. There's a huge 
constituency for continuing 
our present system of police, 
courts, and prisons, and no 
constituency for any alterna- 
tives, no matter how much 
belter and less expensive they 
have been shown to be for the 
public and crime victims. 

Read To Serve and Protect 
by Bruce Benson ($37.50) to 
put the situation into perspec- 
tive and see how you (and all 
of us) have been screwed 
again by government. Gee, 
what a surprise! I know it's 
hard to believe that a govern- 
ment service could be both ri- 
diculously expensive and in- 
effective. Please name one 
government service that is not 
ridiculously expensive and in- 
effective. Just one, please. 


I know you're not going to 
believe it if I try to tell you 
that vour government has 
been lying to you again — 
that it has been wasting bil- 
lions of your money. So Pm 
not going to tfy to convince 
you. Instead, I ask that yon in- 
vest a lousy $9 and discover 
the sorry facts for yourself. 

You may even gel mad 
when you read how you've 
been hornswoaeled again by 
the administration. This has 

to do with the use of eco- 
nomic sanctions as a weapon 
of foreign policy. Sounds 
sreat, right? Well, that should 
be a clue right there if you're 
awake. Anyway, the Cato In- 
stitute has collected papers 
from some of the top brains 
who cite chapter and verse 
how sanctions have not only 
seldom been more than an ir- 
ritant to the intended victim, 
but have instead cost us 

Get Economic Casualties: 
How U.S. Foreign Policy Un- 
dermines Trade, Growth, and 
Liberty. ISBN J .-882577-75-2. 

The message of Economic 
Casualties is clear and com- 
pelling: Unilateral sanctions 
are truly self-inflicted wounds. 
They do to us in peacetime 
what our enemies try to do to 
us in wartime. 

Yeah, there goes Wayne, 
bothering you again over some- 

■■_■■ ■> E_- 

thing you can't do anything 
about. Say, do your senators 
know who you are? I guar an- 
tee you mine know who I am. 
And they know I have a big 
word processor., 


I clipped a little note from 
Time about a study of 4,000 
Danish men which showed 
that mothers who smoke a 
pack or more a day arc twice 
as likely to produce crimi- 
nally violent sons. Those who 
smoked fewer cigarettes had 
less violent hoys. The chemi- 
cals in smoke somehow per- 
manently damage the fetal 
brain. If lung cancer, heart dis- 
ease, and stroke aren't enough 
to scare you off smoking, 
perhaps this will. 

Nicotine is a drug. Crack is 
a drug, Alcohol is a drug. Any 
drugs that get into a mother's 
bloodstream while she is preg- 
nant are going to affect the 
development of the child, and 
the effects are aoine to be 
negative — such as lower in- 
telligence, deformities, slower 
development, aberrant behav- 
ior, and so on. Do you really 
want to cripple your child 
even before it is bom? Cripple 
it for life? 

Researchers have shown 
that ihe use of drugs is no! 
onlv harmful to babies, but 
will also alter both the Sperm 

and mother's eggs even be- 
fore conception. Secondhand 
smoke is also a drug when 

Hmm, both my father and 
mother smoked and drank. I 
wonder what I might have 
been like if I hadn't been 
damaged by those drugs when 
a baby. And by childhood 


I looked up from my com- 
puter and there, in the front 
yard, were two big does and a 
baby deer, Bambi. They were 
cautiously munching on the 
hedge. Well, the snow had 
just melted a few days before 
and only one crocus had blos- 
somed so far, so there wasn't 
a lot for Ihe deer to eat. 

While Sherrv and I were 
watching the deer, Sherry 
called out that there were 
some turkeys in the pasture 
across the road. I got out the 
binoculars to get a closer 
look. They didn't look like 
turkeys, though they were big 
and black. But they were fan- 
ning oul their wings in the 
morning sun and I've never 
seen turkeys do that, A closer 
look showed them feasting on 
something dead. Buzzards, 
not turkeys. Three on the 
ground and one circling lazily 
over them. 

Hmm. were they eating one 
of our rabbits? I went across 
to the field and took a look. 
Nope, it was a dead raccoon. 
There was a lot of raccoon fur 
nearby, so it put up a tig hi be- 
fore it got killed — probably 
by whatever has eaten most 
of the pet rabbits we had run- 
ning around the house and 
barn. Coyotes, probably. 


Plants seem to do as well as 
people when they get all of 
the minerals they were de- 
signed to use. If you'll read 
The Secrets of the Soil by 
Chris Bird, which I've re- 
viewed in my "wisdom" guide, 
you'll find that in addition to 
the dozen ways I discussed 
last year in an editorial for 
getting plants to grow bigger, 
faster, and producing better 

Continued on page 61 

42 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

Number 43 on your Feedback card 

Rboue & Bevond 

VHF and Above Operation 

C. L. Houghton WB6IGP 

San Diego Microwave Group 
6345 Badger Lake Ave. 
San Diego CA92119 
[clhough % pacbell net] 

Microwave converter 
drivers and interfaces: 
part 2 

This month, Set's cover some 
of the trials and modifications 
of another 2 meter rig, the IC- 
202 SSB transceiver. Addition- 
al I v. I will show some of the 
interface equipment used to tie 
together an IF transceiver and 
the microwave converter. 

The interface equipment is 
necessary in addition to low 
power drive to protect the mi- 
crowave mixer at all costs. 
While mixers can be home con- 
structed (with difficulty), com- 
mercial mixers do provide better 
operation parameters (and there- 
fore are hard to find and expen- 
sive). If you arc lucky to come 
upon one tor your converter for 
5 or 10 GHz or higher frequen- 
cies, these are the mixers that 
are truly "unobtanium"! 

Mixers above 1 GHz are not 
loo shabby either, but are a little 
more plentiful in surplus. Home 
construction at these frequen- 
cies is quite a bit easier, as the 
physical 1/4- wave dimensions 
for lumped mixers make cir- 
cuitry larger and easier to work 
with. For instance, a mixer for 
2.3 GHz is about 2 inches square, 
while a 10 GHz mixer of similar 
design would be slightly larger. 
Stability and balance in mixer 
design become even more criti- 
cal as frequency increases and 
circuitry size decreases. 

Protection circuits for micro- 
wave converters and mixers is 
not complicated. A very easy-to- 
construct circuit proposed by 
members of the North Texas 
Microwave Society is quite 
easy to construct and affords 
very good protection for the 
converter. Instead of making a 

direct connection between the 
converter and transceiver 
through switching a coax relay, 
the relay is retained but in the 
receive path an MMIC amplifier 
with 10 dB gain and an attenua- 
tor of 10 dB loss is inserted. In 
the transmit path, an attenuator 
of approximately 10 dB is in- 
serted for 100 mW drive from 
the transceiver. 

Remember, we are using low 
level mixers requiring a maxi- 
mum of +7 to +10 dBm drive, 
and with a power output of 100 
m W or +20 dBm we have some 
dBs to get rid of still. The power 
is quite low level and can be re- 
moved simply with 1 /4-watt car- 
bon resistors. The value of the 
attenuator is adjusted to take 
into account remote operations 
such as tower mounting the con- 
verter some J 00 feel remote and 
being able to still get normal 
drive level to the converter so 
remotely situated. 

The beauty of such a circuit 
is that in case of transfer failure 
(that is, you are transmitting into 
the receive path of the con- 
verter), you do not put power 
directly into the mixer IF port 
and possibly destroy it. In this 
failure scenario, you are now 
driving the 10 dB attenuator in 
the receive circuit and an MMIC 
amplifier backwards. I guaran- 
tee you, it's quite a lossy circuit 
and will fully protect the mixer 
from even much higher power 
in extreme conditions, 

The transmit path (after RF 
detection and auto switching the 
IF path to transmit) is protected 
by the 11) dB attenuator. If high 
power is applied and switching 
takes place, the power is re- 
duced 10 dB but is still too high 
for mixer safety, You can't pro- 
tect from everything, but if you 

reduce your driving transceiver 
to low power operation for mi- 
crowave converter service, it 
will not be a problem. With the 
MMIC amp an attenuator in the 
receiver path and 10 dB attenu- 
ator in the transmit path with 
low r power drivers will afford 
you protection for all of your 
microwave converters. 


2-meter modifications 

Modifications to the IC-202 
SSB 2-meter transceiver for 
microwave converter use are not 
extensive and can be done fairly 
quickly. A little background on 
the ICOM IC-202 2-meter SSB 
transceiver: It's battery powered 
from 9 mternaPC'cellsora 12 
volt DC power source, Its main 
operation is USB only. There is 
a newer model, the IC-202S, 
which is more popular as it pro- 
vides for both USB and LSB. I 
have the plain vanilla model and 
it required conversion to LSB, 
the designated mode for most 
operation on microwave. The 
mod here is quite simple: Order 
a HC-18 solder pin crystal for 
1 0.701 500 MHz and change 
the crystal in the carrier inject 

I came upon a pack of NiCd 
"C" cells and have been using 
them ever since. Matter of fact, 
with the low power mod and 
high capacity NiCds I haven't 
charged the battery pack in 6 
months and the radio continues 
to function quite w ? elt I know 
that's pushing the batteries to 
extreme, but it's better than pur- 
chasing dry cells, which are not 
inexpensive. I picked up the "C" 
cell NiCd pack at a swap meet, 
removed the cells, and inserted 
them in the radio's battery clips 
and that was it. They have per- 
formed very well ever since, and 
quite reliably, I might add. 

The low power modification 
to most rigs was stumbled upon 
many years ago when a blown 
transistor in a final amp stage 
proved quite difficult to find a 
replacement Most standard re- 
placement transistors have the 
collector tied common to the 
outside case for heat sinking 

purposes. The device that was 
blown had the collector insu- 
lated from the TO-5 case. I 
could not find a replacement for 
this device anywhere. On a lark, 
I wanted to see how the remain- 
der of the transceiver functioned 
on transceiver so I connected a 
few-pF capacitor from input to 
output of the final amplifier 
stage. Wow! It did the job, pro- 
vided 100 mW of very nice 
power, and has ever since! What 
a stroke of luck — il functioned 
well not only for a simple test, 
but has been the main rig for 
Field Days ever since. The rig in 
question is an old Santec LS-202 
hand-held multimode 2-meter 
transceiver that was obtained as 
a basket case that needed lots of 
repairs, as it came in parts. 

It proved to be an act of love 
to restore this old Santec LS-202, 
as the synthesizer was dead, the 
audio circuit was dead, and 
wires were hanging out of its 
two clamshell parts. It also had 
the final transistor removed 
(probably the original trouble). 
The case was probably never put 
back together, and it just sat in 
this condition and was allowed 
to be bumped and banged into 
other things in the junk box un- 
til I came upon il in this sad state 
of repair. Was it worth repair- 
ing? Well, probably not but then 
again, when do you run into a 
multimode handheld for por- 
table operation? Had to give it 
a try. 

Well, the radio was restored 
to service and the low r power 
modification proved to be just 
what the doctor ordered to pro- 
tect microwave conveners and 
their expensive mixers. This 
was 7 years ago, and the old 
Santec is still functioning with 
its external audio gain pot and 
tape to hold the case and battery 
compartment together. Looks a 
little tired, hut it still functions 
in a very trusty manner for USB, 
LSB, CW, and FM operations 
all on 2 meters at about 1 00 mW 
power output. Matter of fact it 
still has the original 2 pF capaci- 
tor in place of die final transis- 
tor. As a finishing touch, I put a 
little RTVon to hold it in mid-air 
so it won't vibrate loose. 

73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 43 

The ICOM IC-202 

Back to the low power modi' 
fication to the ICOM IC-202 
transceiver. With the rig con- 
vened to LSB by changing die 
crystal, output power is limited 
by inserting a resistor in the DC 
power lead to the final transis- 
tor collector Maintain normal 
DC power to all oiher circuits 
including the driver transistor, A 

2 watt resistor of a value in the 
75 to 80 ohms range will do the 
trick when using a NiCd battery 
pack. If using full 12 volts, this 
value will have to he trimmed 
to suit power requirements. This 
value resistor will reduce the 
DC voltage under load to the 
final amp transistor to about 
4 volts. 

In my IC-202, the plain va- 
nilla rig. cul circuit hoard strap 
"W22" going to feedthrough 

RE: ICOM IC-202 Xtals 

Quote from manual: "Installing certain combinations of crystals in 
the spare sockets can cause the output level to decrease ... as a 
result of absorption of some of the energy by the neighboring 
crystal." A slight realignment or even modification may be needed 
in some cases, 

In my own IC-202. I have the two ranges 144.0-200. 144.200- 
400. then Range A blank Range B is 144,8-145,00, Since I only 
use the 202 to drive microwave transverters, this gives adequate 
coverage. I have reduced the output of mine to 100 mW for 
transverter drive use. Please feel free to spread this info around 
to others who need it. 

The following crystal frequencies are taken from my IC-202 


Freq. Range 


Freq. Required (kHz) 









144 50 



| 14893,28 









145 900 



15048.83 I 

With the following center frequencies crystal in socket A, do not 
put anything in socket B; 




With the following center frequencies crystal in socket B, do not 
put anything in socket A: 



145.9 i 

The following combinations work OK: 

Range A 

+ Range 










Peter G3PHO 

Table /. G3PHO message. 

44 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

capacitor C 1 36. and place the 
resistor between these two 
points of connection. Stock op- 
eration is 1 2 volts on the collec- 
tor and 3 walls CW/PEP SSB 
output, normally. Alter modifi- 
cation* with no drive there will 
be 12 volts on the collector, bul 
when you speak into the mike 
and the transistor Marls in draw 
current, the DC voltage will 
drop to about 4 volts, and power 
out will he near 1 00 mW. Verify 
the final power output setting 
you want for your application, I 
fudge a little in my setup and set 
power to a max of 1 25 mW, with 
maximum audio drive shouting 
into the mike for SSB operation. 
It's best to give it a test in a noisy 
atmosphere duplicating field 
conditions to check things out 

Now wilh a rig set to low 
power for converter use, there 
remains putting the rig on a spe- 
cific frequency, and getting a 
crystal for the correct frequency 
is needed With my IC-202 an 
early production model, the 
manual was not very clear on 
crystal parameters. This was ;i 
stumbling block for me origi- 
nally, until 1 posted the quest ion 
on a microwave Internet reflec- 
tor, a great co-op information 
line to fellow micro wavers. 
Table 1 is one of several mes- 
sages received covering the 
crystal information sought out 
on the Internet. 

Peter's ICOM IC-202 manual 
was for the newer IC-202S. 
while my earlier model unit/ 
manual was quite unspecific on 
the exact formulation to specify 
exact crystal specifications. My 
original manual covered sche- 
matic operation and basic infor- 
mation. The manual is quile 
exact, but minimal in crystal in- 
formation to manufacture a 
crystal to specification. In any 
case, with help from the Internet 
(Peter G3PHO and others) and 
queries submitted to other ama- 
teur interest forums. I found the 
exact specification for the cen- 
ter frequency of operation . 

The center frequency is the 
center of the 200 kHz full fre- 
quency range of operation per 

band segment The IC-202 cov- 
ers via a variable crystal " VXO" 
circuit to obtain 200 kHz of fre- 
quency coverage per crystal. So 
for 145.0 MH/ lo 145.2 MHz. 
the center f requeue) is 145.1 

Here is another message, 
from Jean Paul F5AYE: 

Subject: IC-202 

From: Filler JPILL0R& 

To: WB6IGP Chuck clhough 

Hello, Chuck: 

Do you remember me. Jean- 
Paul F5AYE7 I rnel you last 
holidays at Kerry's house. I 

hope that all is well for you and 
Kerry. I have some information 
about xtal for IC-202, F is cen- 
ier frequency, ex.; 144.000 to 
f44.200.xtal I is 144 100. IF is 

1 0.7 MHz. theoretical frequency 
for the xtal is: (F - I0JJ/9 but 
real frequency xtal is (F- J 0.7)/ 
9 + 0,02661 MHz. 

Here in Europe it's the most 
used TRX for SHF transverter. 
Here 1 used 4 and 1 in spare! 

Best 73 to you and Kerry, 
F5AYE Jean-Paul 

Just as Jean-Paul stated in the 
message above, it worked out to 
he exactly correct, Center fre- 
quency in MH/ minus IF Freq. 
( 10.7 MHz), divided by 9. plus 
,02661 MH/. This results in a 

14.8 to 15. 1 MH?. crystal fre- 
quency. For my crystal for a 
center frequency of 1 45. 1 MHz, 
the crystal frequency ordered 
was 14.959943 MH/ in a pin 
crystal package for sockets 
(HC-25). I ordered my crystals 
from International Crystal Mfg. 
Co/s (ICM) specification for 
the ICOM IC-202S per the for- 
mulation above. Cost of a new 
crystal was S1K45. Interna- 
tional Crystal's order phone is 
(800) 123-4567. 

Installation of both crystals 
worked perfectly following the 
crystal adjustment of the VXO 
inductor and variable capacitor 
to set band edges for proper dial 

Number 45 on your Feedback cartf 

The Digital Port 

Jack Heller KB7NO 

P.O. Box 1792 

Carson City NV 89702-1792 


You may recall last month's 
statement Lhat I would give Jim 
Barber's ChromaSound pro- 
gram a try and let you know 
what I saw. What I saw is — if s 
terrific! You can download it 
and try it for yourself from the 
Chroma FIX Web site (see 


The program uses your 16-hit 

sound card with an audio cable 
from your receiver to the line- 
in jack un the card. Th;U is all 
the external hardware there is: 
one cable, If vou have been us- 
ing ChromaPIX for SSTV. you 
should he set to so. 

If you are like me, you have 
tinkered with even affordable 
interference reduction method 
available. You may have used 
fillers so narrow for CW thai 
they had to be turned off to tune 
for a new signal I had one of 
those once upon a time and it 
showed me what an unstable 
receiver I was using back then, 
(Remember die days of band- 
spread? I had to keep one hand 
on the bandspread knob to keep 
pace with the drift!* 

The ChaimaSound program 
is an easy install. I installed it 
in Windows95™ just like it was 
"meant to fit in the place " Then 
1 hunted around for instructions 
or a manual to print out. Not 
much available there. 1 found 
thul there was some info on the 
Web site in the form of an FAQ 

frequency calibration. If s always 
nice when something worked 
out well, and this was no excep- 
tion. 1 am quite satisfied with the 
new crystals, and with restora- 
tion of this IC-202 SSB trans- 
ceiver to a verv useful tool for 
portable operation in conjunc- 
tion with microwave converters. 

file. It is a good idea to read lhat 
file and possibly print it. There is 
eood information about celt in** 
up and running. 

However, ChromaSound is 
die epitome of the intuitive pro- 
gram. You will find buttons to 
click on with vour mouse and 
they do exactly what you expect 
them to do. There are labs to 
bring up filter screens for SSB ( 
RTTY SSTV, and CW + Within 
those windows are prefonnailed 
fillers for various modes, with 
standard audio widths as may 
apply for the mode. 

If you feel you can improve 
on the results for your particu- 
lar "ear," all you need do is click 
on the tabs in the displayed en- 
velopes and move the shapes 
around to where they do the 
most good for you. After you are 
done tinkering, you can save the 
new formal to its own button for 
future use. 

The first test, SSB, was in my 
opinion the toughest, I have 
used about everything a\ ailablc 
on the planet to make readable 
audio out of the confusing hash 
that comes from my speaker. Up 
"til now. the most successful Ikis 
been the little Timewave bov I 
am not going to sa\ this program 
beats lhat, but. in fairness, it is 
right up there. 

I was showing my wife, who 
studies and teaches voice, the 
squiggles on the screen and how 

While my IC-202 has some 
[imitations, being only LSB in 
operation, it does have very nice 
VXO tuning (velvet smooth) 
dial operation, and this, along 
with the low power modifica- 
tions for microwave converters, 
makes it a joy to use. 7? \or now. 
Chuck WB6IGR 

H onderfully the program erased 
so manv of the unwanted squig- 
gles. She was unimpressed. The 
demo was not how singing 

people relate to sound; it seemed 
the only logical approach to me. 
A different music emanates 
from m\ speakers than from 

On the other hand, she was 
impressed when 1 picked out an 
unintelligible signal and then 
pressed buttons and twisted ap- 
propriate knobs until the audio 
was relatively free from sur- 
rounding noises and, most im- 
portantly, was sending under- 
standable speech into the room. 
This is, after all, the goal of 
transmitting and receiving the 
spoken word — that the thought 
processes must transfer from 
one mind to the other. This was 
happening regardless of the 
state of the afore mentioned 

One of the hazards of accumu- 
lating the frugal ham's computer 

and accessories for the all- 
around whiz-bang digital ham 
shack is thai some of the minor 
accessories tend to be resur- 
rected from the junk box. In this 
case, I became woefully aware 
lhat the speakers attached to the 
output of the sound card are less 
than best quality. 

I had to recall why that hap- 
pened. When the sound card was 
installed several years ago, the 
furnished speakers had a well- 
deserved bad reputalinn. Si > bad 
were these speakers that within 
a few weeks they were replaced 
h\ some old-timers remaining 
from the davs when AM radios 
were scavenged for parts, 

The point of this is that when 
you expect to hear great quality 
from your computer sound card, 
that quality depends to a greal 
extent on a good sei of match- 
ing speakers. The other side of 
the coin is thai even with these 
poorly matched speakers, the 
ChromaSound program delivered 

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73 Amateur Radio Today ■ September 1999 45 

Source for: 

Web address (URL) 

HF serial modem plans + software 

SV2AGW free Win95 programs 

BayCom — German site 

Pasokon SSTV programs & hardware 

http^/www. forthnet g r/sv2agw/ 



New Mode — PSK31 — Free download 

Baycom 1,5 and Manual, zip in English 

Source for BayPac BP-2M 

TNC to radio wiring help 

ChromaPIX & ChromaSound DSP software 

Timewave DSP & AEA products 

International Visual Communication Association 
a non-profit organization dedicated to SSTV 

XPWare — TNC software with sampte download 

Auto tuner and other kits 

TAPR — lots of info 

h ttp ://www, li ge rtr ontcs ,com/ 




Creative Services Software 

Table L Handy VRLs. 

excellent, understandable audio. 
I did T however, have lo crank up 
the sound card volume DO the 
speakers so 1 could make out the 

Most of you who use your 
sound card for music have al- 
ready ins La I led good speakers 
and will not experience the mi- 
nor irritations I have. I have a 
different approach toward mu- 
sic than the true aficionado. Per* 
haps thai coiner from listening 
tu so many hard-to-copy signals; 
maybe it follows that music 
must he expected to sound that 
\va> also. 

The second lest was much 
easier I tuned to some CW sig- 
nals and turned on the filter, and 
they all disappeared except one. 
I could see it. hear iu copy it. It 
was such a stark difference, 1 
clicked the filler on and off a 
couple of limes to be sure I was 
listening to the signal I saw on 
ilie monitor. 

I approached some of the 
other modes with a Mule hesi- 
tancy because I was worried 
about the stability of running a 

sound card program along with 
communications software. The 
reason was a crash T had experi- 
enced when I first attempted a 
screen slioi and was bringing up 
a graphics program to process 
the file. 

Rebooting the computer 
seemed to get rid of all the 
gremlins and I was able to gel a 
file with a shot of the SSB sig- 
nal envelope (which 1 chose noi 
10 use — 1 felt that the RTTY 
screen shot accompanying the 
article tells it all). 

Finally, after much thought. I 
cabled the equipment to work as 
shown in the screen shot and all 
went well with no crashes, I did 
keep the concurrently running 
programs to a minimum, That is 
my most common downfall. I 
minimize too many programs 
and leave them running, us ihere 
is often a need to go hack to 
i hem throughout the day. 

I did some of the experiments 
described later before this one 
and gained a new appreciation 
for the PK-232MBX. The 
ChromaSound DSP program 

and the "232 seemed like they 
were made for each other 1 
didn't pick out any lurking, be- 
low-the-noise-level DX signals, 
but I found that the output au- 
dio frequency from the sound 
card was correct for the input ol 
the "232 and there was no prob- 
lem with amplitude adjustments, 

How the user works the 

The screen shot, as I men- 
tioned, tells much of the story. 
There are labs for formal ted 
modes, SSB, CW. RTTY, and 
SSTV The SSTV is under the 
tab labeled "Stock " 

You mav choose audio widths 


by selecting buttons on the vari- 
ous pages /There is an automatic 
notch that deletes the "luner 
upper* -style signal and sends it 
packing so quickly you will 
think the guy turned off (he rig, 
Also, there are noise li inker but- 
tons that effectively reduce while 
noise in logical steps. The AGC 
button works as il should, and you 
will welcome it on occasion, 

Roll your own 

If you want to improve on the 
situation, make changes for a 
different mode, orjusl plain ex- 
periment you will find little labs 
on ihe display envelope. Click 
and drag to your heart's content* 
Each move results in an instant 
change in the Tillering charac- 
teristic. When vou find some- 
thing you wanL you can save it 
to its own button for future use. 

In a nutshel L this is the setup: 
ChromaSound needs audio from 
the speaker output of the radio 
to the "Line in" jack on ihe 
sound card: you will have to set 
the level from lime lo time to get 
the correct drive for ihe system. 
That was easy; I had a cable 
from the first days of using 
ChromaFIX lor SSTV 

If there was a nick to the out- 
put, it wasn't much of one other 
than having to assemble a new 
cable. The "Line out" on the 
card uses a small stereo plug and 
I needed an RCA plug al ihe 
other end. This allowed me to 
plug into a lest port I had used 
once upon a time when testing 
the Timewave DSP unii. This 
port is s\\ ilehable and allows the 
audio lo feed either through the 
DSP sound card or directly to 
the '232. 

The tuning indicator on the 
'232 guides the user to precise 
tuning, and it was immediately 
obvious that the ChromaSound 
was doing its job. With the ra- 
dio tuned correctly and ihe sig- 
nal within the prescribed en- 
velope on ihe DSP screen, the 
'232 tuning indicator is very 
clean and the copy is as near 
perfect as RTTY gels. Wilh ihe 
filter turned off. any hash or ad- 
jacent signals become apparent 
both in a disturbance on the tun- 
ing indicator and in deterioration 
of the copy. 

What this says, of course, is lhat 
the two programs Hew well to- 
gether in the same computer and 
did their respective johs wilh no 
Crashes or recognizable problems 
of any son. Makes my day when 
things work like I expect. 

I also tuned some PACTOR 

signals. There are no preset 

creens for PACTOR, but I 

46 73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 

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^f.r>* f v; 

Photo A. This screen shot is ChromaSound in action filtering the 
RTTY propagation message from ARRL The communication soft- 
ware, XPWare, is in the background, with the DSP program cov- 
ering much of the upper right of the monitor. The filter continues 
to work if you click on the XPWare screen, which makes the entire 
screen available to the communications program. In this case, the 
audio signal is fed into the sound card where it is filtered, as evi- 
denced by the clean signal display in the envelope. The output of 
the sound card is then fed to the PK-2S2MBX for demodulation, 
then to the serial port for the XPWare to decode and display the 
incoming message on the screen See text for details of experiments 
and general tinkering with the many buttons. 

simply used one of the SSB en- 
velopes and changed its param- 
eters to fit the need. The pro- 
gram works well there also. I 
wasn't linked, so the program 
was simply in the PACTOR "lis- 
ten" mode, The point is thai the 
filtered signal went to the '232 
and was demodulated with no 
added problems. 

Then, for the fun of it, I tuned 
a few CW signals while all this 
was working so well. That was 
also successful. I seldom use the 
'232 for CW, so it was interest- 
ing to note that the Chroma- 
Sound CW filter was so sharp 
that I had to turn it off so I could 
ease into the correct i4 curve" on 
the signal and get the '232 tun- 
ing indicator deflecting prop- 
erly. Then I could turn on the 
filler, and this modem technology 
did its thing. 

It continues to amaze me 
how CW can be decoded even 
though the "fist" may be less 
than perfect, if the equipment on 
the receiving end is up to it, I 
learned a long time ago, how- 
ever, that if you want to work 
CW with this fancy stuff, you 

had better follow along and be 
sure the print on the screen is 
correct. As soon as you count on 
it, it ain*L That last line must 
have been spoken first by a fa- 
mous ballplayer — then it trick- 
led down to this not-so-famous 

I mentioned earlier that I had 
tried another experiment with 
the ChromaSound DSR At first, 
I was leery of trying to get too 
much working in the same com- 
puter, so I rigged up a feed from 
the "Line out" of the sound card 
to the serial modem I built a 
while back from the design by 
K7SZL (see Table 1), 

This was successful to a 
point. 1 was able to demodulate 
the RTTY signals and feed them 
to HamComm software in the 
laptop. This eventually worked, 
but it was necessary to adjust 
frequencies between the filler 
envelope in the DSP program 
and the frequency the Ham- 
Comm program was looking for 
to gain success. It worked, but 
it is definitely not a contest 

I also attempted CW as well 
as SSTV through the modem 
into the laptop, but apparently 
was a little shy of audio power 
for those modes. The copy 
wasn't there with the CW mode 
in HamComm, and the Pasokon 
SSTV (see Table I) program did 
not recognize the existence of a 
signal. Both modes responded 
fairly well without the Filtering. 
Part of the problem was signal 
strength from the antenna. I 
could hear the signals by ear, but 
there just wasn't enough audio 
above the hash noise to decode 
with the filler operating. 

What I like most is the vis- 
ible spectrum display. You can 
instantly see and hear the effects 
of any changes you make, either 
by clicking a button or modify- 
ing the envelope in the display. 
It is like having a scope plugged 
in that always tells you what is 

One other item on my mind this 
month is the PSK31 activity. 
Unfortunately, I do more read- 
ing than operating, but there are 
plenty of glowing reports for 
this new mode. Having tried it, 
I heartily recommend it to ev- 
eryone. It is easy to get started. 
Download it from the Internet 
(see Table 1), follow the instruc- 
tions, and have fun. It is a great 
low-power activity. 

To rest is to rust 

My wife found this saying, 
and it is one of her favorites. 
That is what keeps us going — 
along with adequate lube on the 
proper joints. 

If you have questions or com- 
ments about this column, E-mail 
me at [] and/ 
or CompuServe [72 1 30,1352]. I 
will gladly share what I know, 
or find a resource for you. For 
now, 73, Jack KB7NO. 

Say You Saw It In 73 


I « 


New fixed site direction 

finders provide 2 degree 

accuracy, and include 

software for triang illation from 

a central control site. Mobile 

versions also available covering 

50MHz to 1 GHz 

Doppler Systems Inc. 

3 Box 2780 Carefree, AZ 85377 

Tel: (480) 488-9755 Fax: (■ . 

European Marketing Director Denis Egan 
O Box 2, Seaton- Devon EX 12 2YS England 
Tel & Fax: 44 1297 62 56 90 

m. " 

*^f 7"»^"^^ t ■ *~ 



73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 47 

New Products 

Number 48 on your Feedback card 


7 T "J. i . T n u ""I 1 I r 


m J 

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New Mobile Antenna 
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Comet Antenna has modi- 
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73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 49 


Number 50 on your Feedback card 

Amateur Radio Via Satellites 

Andy MacAllister W5ACM 
14714 Knights Way Drive 
Houston TX 77083-5640 

Field Day offers an opportu- 
nity to test not only emergency 
preparedness communications. 
bui also, tor the satellite enthu- 
siast, the challenge of making 
hamsui contacts from a remote 
location, Unlike normal short- 
wave operation, more prepara- 
lion is needed for satellite work. 
The communications equipment 
and antennas must be checked 
for even minor problems since 
very often the received signals 
are weak and transponder load- 
ing is at its peak. If the Field Day 
site i> far from home, orbital 
predictions must be recalculated 
for a different location, especially 
if beams are used. 

Field Day 1999 

Last year AMSAT OSCAR- 

10 was surprisingly good, and 
this year was nearly the same, 
but this 16-year-old hamsat can 
be quite unpredictable since the 
onboard computer gave out over 
a decade ago. A-O- 1 provided 
main \ oiee and CW contacts for 
those who pursued it. A few- 
stations discovered that they could 
even make contacts through 

A-O- 10 with very simple 
table yagis like the Arrow [hup:/ 
/hometown, aoLcom/ Arrow 146/ 
indevhtml]. A-O-10. with its 
high elliptical orbit, is still a 
great resource in the sky. And 
for those who are concerned 
about Y2K, A-O- 10 not onlv 
doesn't care about the date, it 
doesnT even know. It is simph 
an uncontrolled, but functional 
mode "B" (70 cm up and two 
meters down) transponder in 

The Fuji satellites, F-0-2Q 
and F-O-29, were both in ana- 
log (voice and CW) mode for 
Field Day. Contacts were plen- 
tiful for those who were pre- 
pared for the exceptional 
Doppler shift associated with 
satellites with a UHF downlink. 
The 70-cm downlink signals can 
drift as much as 20 kHz in the 
course of an overhead pass, Sat- 
ellite newcomers had problems 
keeping up. 

The Russian RS hamsats did 
well RS-13 provided contacts, 
as did RS- 1 5, Usually RS-15 is 
very hard to use, but when re- 
ceive conditions are good and 
the satellite s beacon is off, the 

Photo R m Mike WA5TWT enjoyed some quality A-O-I0 contacts 
while working the K5DX satellite station near Brenham Texas. 

results can be acceptable. For 
the Houston AMSAT Group, 

operating at the Texas DX So- 
ciety site, several RS-15 mode 
"A" (2 meters up and 1 meters 
down) contacts were logged. 

Operation via AMSAT-OS- 
CAR-27 was, as expected, su- 
per crowded! This single-channel 
FM mode "J" (2 meters up and 
70 cm down) repealer in I he sky 
was working well even thou ah 
it sounded like hundreds of sta- 
tions were trying lo access the 
satellite simultaneously. Per- 
haps the mass of signals is like 
that heard hy shuttle astronauts 
when operating SARHX (the 
Shuttle Amateur Radio Ex- 
periment). The result is that only 
a few f contacts are made, usuallv 


by the stations with the biggest 
antennas and the strongest trans- 
mitters. It was wild, bin ai least 

it was entertaining. SUNS AT- 
OSCAR-35 was not available 
for Field Day, but if it had been, 
the results would have been 

The digital hamsats were do- 
ing reasonably well this year, 
but with KITSAT-OSCAR-23 
gone* only two 9600-baud birds 
were on-line: UoSAT-OSCAR- 
The relatively new Thailand sat- 
ellite (TMS AT-OSCAR-3 1 ) was 
not available. With the recent 
addition of UoSAT-OSCAR 36 
earlier diis yean we expect Field 
Day 2000 to be belter, and very 
different. While 9600 baud has 
become a standard digital ham- 
sat speed, U-O-36 is capable of 
much more, up to 76.8 kbps 
(76.800 bits per second)* Most 
access is expected to be at 38,4 

Photo A* The K5DX Field Day operation had a nice shaded hilltop 
spot for the satellite station, 

50 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

Photo C Mike NSMT checks out the CW setup at the K5DX satellite 
station during Field Day 1999. 

Photo I). The new Eagle Spit- 
fire 454 10-meter HT is nearly 
identical in size with the much 
older Santec LS-202A 2-meter 
HT Both are multimode radios 
with full hand coverage. 

kbps, but this will still require 
new gear for the home station, 
and field operation. 

Portable toys 

Wouldn't it be nice to work 
satellites with only a handie- 
talkie and a short antenna? It's 
been done. The single-channel 
FM transponders (erossband re- 
peaters) on satellites tike A-O- 
27 and S-O-35 can be worked 
using only a single dual-band 
HT when conditions are opti- 
mum and usage Is light* But 
what about the other satellites 
that don't use FM, but rather 
support CW and SSB for mul- 
tiple simultaneous users? There 
is no single unit that you can buy 
off the shelf for erossband. 
hand-held SSB or CW. but now 
there's something close. 

Several \ears aeo, Santec in- 
trodueed a multimode two- 
meter HT called the LS-202A. 
It ran about a watt of FM or 
SSB. Frequency control was by 
thumbwheel switches and VXO 
(variable crystal oscillator) and 
RIT {receiver incremental tun- 
ing) knobs. Slide switches se- 
lected modes and other functions, 
A small analog meter was used 
for S-meter readings in receive 
and battery condition during 
transmit. It was a nice, if rather 
rare, radio. Santec also marketed 
a mobile docking amplifier to 

boost the power output to a bit 
over 30 walls. If you can find a 
used one that works, buy it, but 
be forewarned that some me- 
chanical parts are proprietary 
and impossible to find* 

The Santec LS-202A pro 
v ided a great start for a two-unit 
mode "A" (two meters up and 
ten meters down) portable 
ground station, If SSB is not a 
necessity, quite a number of 
standard two-meter FM HTs can 
lie used for mode "A %f uplink 
work simply by connecting a 
code key into the external mi- 
Crophone connector and sending 
CW, Some HTs have excessive 
drift or chirp when used in this 
fashion* It's worth trying, 

However, when the LS-202A 
came out, there was no compa- 
rable 10-meter HT on the mar- 
ket. Santec produced a number 
ol HF handie-talkies under vari- 
ous names like Mizuho, Jim, 
and. in the U.S.. AEA. The IO- 
meter version was called the 
MX-28S, The AEA model has 
the MX-28S name on top, but 
was sold as the AEA DX Handy. 
Although it was a 10-meter 
transceiver for CW and SSB t it 
was designed for use in the 
lower part of 1 meters. The ra- 
dio required a new crystal anil 
sonic retuning to use it in the 
satellite portion of the band be- 
tween 29,3 and 29.5. To get on 
the air without reworking a ra- 
dio that really wasn't intended 
for use at the hish end of 10 
meters, it was a lot easier to just 
use a 10-meter mobile rig or a 
small digital shortwave receiver. 

The Eagle Spitfire 454 

It sounds more like a good 
name for a CB rig. but the Eagle 
Spitfire 454 is a very recent, 
rather complex, all-mode (except 
CW) 10-meter handie-talkie. 
There have been a lot of new, un- 
usual brand names showing up in 
the ham market in recent years. 
While most radios used to come 
from Japan, there are now rigs 
from all over the Far East, The 
Spitfire is custom manufactured 
(or Copper Electronics of Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, in the Philippines. 

Hams are always looking for 
all the features they can get in a 
radio for the lowest price. The 
Spitfire, as shipped, covers 28.0 
to 29.7 MHz with AM, FM, 
LSB, and USB. It comes with 
an empty batten pack, a wall 
charger, a mobile power cable. 
a 9,5" base-loaded "duck" an- 
tenna, belt clip , hand strap, and 
a manual. The advertised price 
from Copper Electronics at 
[http://www.copper.coml is 

The basic design of the radio 
is derived from its CB (Citizens 
Band) ancestry. Construction 
and appearance is similar to 
Alineo, ADI, and Cherokee 
HTs. The owner's manual looks 
like the Japanese radio manuals 
of the *6Qs. It is full of strangely 
worded sentences, some with 
rather cryptic meaning. The ab- 
breviation CB shows up at least 
twice in reference to this ham 
rig. but fortunate!) the radio iv 
very easy to use, with only a few 
hints needed to get it running on 
any 10- meter frequency and 

The battery pack is designed 
to hold nine size-AA cells. Al- 
kaline or NiCd batteries may be 
used. The radio will also work 
with some ADI NiCd battery 
packs and their clones. The in- 
cluded wall charger is intended 
for use wilh NiCds. The mobile 
power cable has a cigarette 
lighter plug on one end and is 
also intended for use only wilh 
NiCds in the banery pack. 

Photo E. A close-up of the Eagle 
Spitfire 454 1 0-meter HT Most 
controls are buttons on the front 
or side of the radio. 

antenna that comes with 
the radio is only good for verv 
local operation* but the connec- 
tor on the radio is a standard 
BNC type, Attaching a decent 
long whip, mobile antenna, or 
even dipole is easy. Some CB 
magnet-mount mobile antennas 
can be easily moved to the IO- 
meter band simply by removing 
one or two turns from the loading 

For the satellite operator, tun- 
ing the Spitfire takes some 
practice. Main tuning is accom- 
plished using UP and DOWN 
buttons located just above the 
PTT ipush-to-talkl switch on 
the side. The default tuning in- 
crement is 10 kHz. To direct!) 
address ! kHz, 10 kHz, or 100 

Phato E Vie older 2-meter multimode Santec LS-202A HT had 
pots and switches on the top to control operation. 

73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 51 

On the Go 

Number 52 on your Feedback card 

Mobile, Portable and Emergency Operation 

Steve Nowak KE8YN/4 
1011 Peacock Ave. NE 
Palm Bay FL 32907- 1371 
[ke8yn @ junexcom] 

This month we continue the 
discussion of the Y2K phenom- 
enon. For the past few months, 
we've been looking at some of 
the implications that we hams 
might face next January. If 
you're a new reader, we have 
been operating on the assump- 
tion that if 'some computers have 
a problem when the year lums 
to 2(XH), then it is wise to pre- 
pare. The other assumption that 
we have been accepting is that 
such problems would be mani- 
fest in ways similar to what we 
see with other emergencies. This 
could include power outages of 
some type or communications 
problems. Therefore, the worst 
we will do is practice skills we 
will need at some point in the 
future for the next hurricane, 
tornado, snowstorm, etc. 

One interesting discussion 
that I've heard lately concerns 
our current trend in manufactur- 
ing called "Just In Time" inven- 
tory control This requires that 
inventory is never carried in ad- 
vance of its need. Instead, parts 
arrive at the time they are 
needed to be included in the 
manufacture of the final prod- 
uct. This procedure reduces the 
costs associated with buying 
product before it is needed, 
which is very attractive to the 
accounting and finance types. 
On the other hand, it is totally 
dependent upon the supply 
chain working almost perfectly. 
Indications are thai there is no 
widespread emphasis on stock- 
ing up on required material in case 
the Y2K bug causes some burps 
in the rail or trucking industries 

or in the computers that track the 
orders and requirements at the 
plant, While this may not seri- 
ously affect us as communica- 
tors, it points out the fact that // 
there are problems associated 
with the Y2K event, some of 
them may be quite different 
from what people have encoun- 
tered in the past. This may have 
less to do with the computer bug 
itself and more to do with 
changes in the way business 
conducts itself in this lean, 
mean, down-sized environment. 
There are a few factors that 
may be different for us. One of 
the differences that may affect 
us in the next few disasters that 
we may be called upon to sup- 
port involves the public percep- 
tion of us. First, to most non-radio 
enthusiasts there is absolutely 
no difference between a ham 
and a CBer. In their eyes, we 
both use radios, we both put up 
ugly antennas, and we both 
mess up their TV, Second, the 
public is hungrier than ever for 
news, and we can expect a por- 
tion to use every means avail- 
able, including listening to us, 
to keep up with changing events. 

The first situation presents an 
important opportunity for us to 
educate the public. Most ham 
events, such as Field Day, do not 
truly catch the public's atten- 
tion. We may get some public- 
ity in the local paper or on the 
news, but the average citizen 
probably skips over those news 
stories since they may feel that 
they are not affected one way or 
the other by our efforts. To them, 
it is just a way for some guys 
with radios lo have fun; while 
this is true, we all know there is 
more to it than just that. 

During many real emergency 
situations, the public is not 
aware of the role we play. Part 
of this is because we are sup- 
porting such well-known disaster 
services as the local government, 
the Red Cross, the Salvation 
Army, and so forth. With the 
potential for Y2K problems, \\ e 
have the opportunity to tell our 
fellow citizens what we will be 
doing if called upon to support 
in advance of the actual emer- 
gency. We have months to plan 
and execute our efforts to show 
our fellow citizens what we can 
and will do to help them. Talk 

kHz steps, a control on the front 
of the radio called STEP must 
be pressed to highlight, with a 
cursor, the digits to be in- 
cremented: L 10. or 100 kHz, 
When in this mode, the radio 
will not increment beyond the 
segment being tuned. If the 
"ones" digit is being shifted, the 
other digits will not be affected. 
It's like adjusting the time on a 
digital clock where changing the 
minutes setting will have no ef- 
fect on the hours. To get beyond 
the selected range, the default 
tuning of 10 kHz must be rein- 
stated by pressing the STEP key 
until the cursor quits blinking. 
While there is a "clarifier" that 
works on SSB and AM. it only 
tunes a few kHz either side of 
the displayed frequency. How- 
ever, it does make all the differ- 
ence when tracking Doppler shift 
on RS-13. After some practice 
with a few contacts via satellite. 

it gets easier to move the Spit- 
fire around the satellite pass- 

Receiver sensitivity is speci- 
fied at 0.8 microvolts for 10 dB 
S/N (signal to noise). This in 
quite respectable. No preamp is 
needed, hut the front end is 
prone to overload in locations 
with nearby HF transmitters, 
like on freeways around a lot of 
CB operators. Using headphones 
helps a lot for portable work. 

Between satellite passes, the 
Spitfire does a very respectable 
job as a 10-meter transceiver. 
Power output on AM and FM is 
four watts. It is rated between six 
and seven watts on SSB. QRP 
enthusiasts are already working 
on a simple solution to make the 
rig transmit CW while in LSB 
or USB, For now; its use as a voice 
radio is quite satisfying. 

For hams and other radio en- 
thusiasts operating in foreign 

countries that allow amateur- ra- 
dio rigs to be used in other ser- 
vices, there are modifications to 
the Spitfire that allow it to go 
substantially below the IO- 
meter ham band to almost 25 
MHz. Information on activating 
this "export" mode can be found 
on the Internet at the URL [hllp: 
spitfire, html]. To modify the ra- 
dio, a very small surface-mount 
chip resistor has to be removed 
from the circuit board on the 
back side of the PTT switch. 
Then the radio has to be reset 
by shorting a circuit pad to 
ground. To get to the export 
mode, a combination of keys are 
then pressed according to the 
instructions at [freeband.coml. 
Once in the export mode, the 
radio's operation changes dra- 
matically with a "band" display 
and a '"channel'* display. To get 
back to ham-only operation, the 

combination of keys that were 
used to get to the export mode 
are now invoked again. Unless 
there is a reallv sood reason to 
use the radio outside 10 meters, 
it is really a much more user- 
friendly radio to use in the na- 
tive ham mode. Opening the 
radio to do the hardware modi* 
fication also voids the warranty* 
For less than 5200. shipping 
included, the Eagle Spitfire 454 
is an excellent answer for the 
portable mode "A" hamsat sta- 
tion, and with the sun spot num- 
ber increasing, a fun way to get 
on 10 meters from remote loca- 
tions without lugging around a 
mobile or base-station trans* 
ceiver. Check out Copper Elec- 
tronics' Web site at fhttp://]. They have 
some other rigs and devices you 
probably haven't seen before 
that are just now showing upon 
this side of the Pacific. 

52 73 Amateur Radio Today ■ September 1 999 


Number 53 on your Feedback card 

Low Power Operation 

Michael Bryce WB8VGE 
Sunlight Energy Systems 
955 Manchester Ave. S W 
North Lawrence OH 44666 

Well, the Dayton HamVen- 
lion for 1999 is history. Every- 
one was blessed with great 
weather on all three days of the 
convention. Although I don't 
have the figures, the attendance 
seemed, at least to me, to be 
slightly higher than that of last 
year. Since the weather was so 
good, the flea market vendors 
did great! 1 sold almost 12 kW 
worth of solar panels during the 
three days of the convention. 

Once again, the QRP ARCI 
held the Fixe Days in May tech- 
nical forums. All the forums 
were sold out, with latecomers 
standing in the back. The annual 
banquet was held on Friday 
night while Saturday night was 
for the vendors. 

Wilderness Radio introduced 
their new SST CW transceivers. 
These rigs cover the CW portion 
of the three most popular QRP 

bands. Of course, they are 

monobanders: You have to take 
your pick of either 40, 30, or 20 

The SST or Simple Superhet 
Transceivers are the lowest 
priced and smallest members of 
the Wilderness Radio lineup. 
They come as a kit, and since 
they are so simple, the kits re- 
quire basically less than half the 
pieces parts used by other rigs. 

Since they are superhet re- 
ceivers, you don't need to worry 
about hearing both sides of the 
CW signal. They have a three- 
pole cr> stal filter and an effec- 
tive AGC eireuit. Audio output 
has been optimized for "walk- 
tiling" headphones. There is no 
speaker, so phones are a must. 

On the transmit side, vou set 
two watts of VXO-comrolled 
RF into a 50 ohm load. You 
also get QSK keying, transmit 

Photo A. The audio amplifier kit from Ten-Tec contains only one 
small PC board and a hag of parts. 

monitoring, and great stability 
thanks once more to that VXO. 

The kits come complete with 
an unfinished aluminum enclo- 
sure and a "no wire" construction. 

The SST would make a great 
rig to lake along to the outback, 
It has a standby current demand 
of about 15 mA in the receive 

Best of alK the SST is only 
S85, and that includes the case! 

Dave Benson's Small Wonder 
Labs also introduced his new- 
est rig. It's the DSW series trans- 
ceiver. But this lime around. 
Dave added a microprocessor to 
control the frequency and, at the 
same time, a CW output for the 
frequency! In a nutshell it's 
based on his very popular 

monoband transceivers. You can 
get one for the I60 T 80. 40, 30 ? 
and 20 meters. 

The rig is very small, and 
Dave told me there are only four 
toroids to wind. There are two 
relatively large surface mount 
inductors, but I he rest of the sur- 
face mount components have 
already been commercially in- 

And Dave added . 1 00" lock- 
ing headers to connect the out* 
side world to the DSW 
transceiver. There's also a com- 
panion enclosure if you're not 
into bending metal Oh, ves: The 
price is S90 for the kit and S3 5 
for the enclosure. You can order 
your own by dropping Dave a 
note at: Small Wonder Labs, 80 

about a marketing opportunity 
— this is one in a lifetime! 

Compare the potential "Just 
In Time" issue above with what 
hams are doing to prepare for 
any emergency and this one in 
particular. We are proactive by 
regularly planning and prepar- 
ing for emergency situations as 
opposed to waiting for an event 
to occur. We routinely prepare 
before each storm season, but 
few potential disasters have 
caught the public's attention the 
way Y2K has. As news report- 
ers are looking for Y2K story 
ideas, why not present whal we 
are doing to prepare? This is an 
excellent lime to point out that 
we are licensed h\ the federal 
government. One of our primary 
purposes specifically stated in 
the law is to provide emergency 

communications! Whal other 
groups are so specifically tasked 
by the federal government? 
And, oh, by the way, this is one 
of the reasons that we are per- 
mitted to install large antennas 
— so that in the event of an 
emergency, we can communi- 
cate effectively. I strongly rec- 
ommend that we do not pass up 
this opportunity to blow our own 

The second issue fits in with 
the first. People have always 
been hunsrv for news, w hich is 
why there are now a number of 
all-news stations on cable. The 
commercial operators have seized 
this opportunity id improve their 
own commercial success. How- 
many "headlines" presented dur- 
ing prime-time television present 
any real information compared 

to the number thai are teasers 
designed strictly to entice 
people to tune in later. ("Six 
people died violently! We 1 11 tell 
you who at eleven ...") News 
networks frequently broadcast 
conjecture, supposition, and 
theory to fill air time when the 
facts are not yet known, On the 
other hand, if we hams are pro- 
viding communications service 
in any disaster, we are often the 
first to know what's going on. 
Skywarn is a prime example. 
Who is it who reports the hail, 
wind damage, etc., to the Na- 
tional Weather Service? We do, 
of course, and the information 
is passed along to the news 
media well after we are aware 
of it. 

Some people already use 
scanners to track various public 

service transmissions and rou- 
tinely monitor our frequencies 
as well. If we publicize our role 
in disaster recovery, more 
people may decide to listen in 
to our transmissions. It may 
even be wise to include in press 
releases or news stories that 
these transmissions can be 
heard, and even include the fre- 
quencies. This may be helpful 
in demonstrating our impor- 
tance to the community, but will 
also make it even more impor- 
tant to ensure lhat we operate in 
a professional and competent 
manner. The advantage is that if 
we present ourselves in a well- 
trained and professional manner 
before the end of the vear — and 
do a good job on the air — wc may 
be able to build a greater level of 
support for our hobby. 

73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 53 

Homing in 

Numhar £4 on your Feedback card 

Joe Moeli P.E. KOOV 
P. CK Box 2508 
Fullerton CA 92837 

Dayton does DF 

Remember the New Year's 
resolutions that you made as 
1999 began? Have you fulfilled 
them? Perhaps you decided to 
try something new in ham radio, 
such as hidden transmitter hunt- 
ing (also called T-hunting and 
foxhunting). 1 resolved to make 
the trip from California lo Day- 
ton for a first try a l the 

Until this year. I didn't have 
a good reason to go. Flea mar- 
ket? I can easily drive to three 

Radio Direction Finding 

big ham radio swap meets ev- 
ery month. Talks and exhibits? 
Our annual Southwestern Divi- 
sion bash (HamCon) is nothing 
to sneeze at. It always has good 
forums, plus great transmitter 
hunts with lots of prizes. So why 
travel to a ham test almost two 
thousand miles away? 

Last October, I got E-mail 
from Jim Elmore KC8FQY of 
West Chester, OH. He was help- 
ing to plan the biggest and best 
radio direction finding (RDF) 
activities for the 1999 Ham- 
vention, Jim was teaming with 

Photo A. Dick Amett WR4SUV has a well -equipped mobile T- 
hunt setup including a dappler and a storage-scope display. 

Dick Arnetl WB4SUV of 

Erl anger KY and Bob Frey 
WA6EZV of Cincinnati to put 
on both the Foxhunt Forum and 
a whiz-bang foxhunt. He 
wouldn't take no for an answer. 
I had been in E-mail contact 
with KCSFQY since he began 

T-hunting in early 1997, Jim has 
worked very hard lo learn the se- 
crets of RDF, detailing his expe- 
riences in the ^Confessions of a 
T-Hunter" pages of his Web site. 
WB4SUV and WA6F7V (Pho- 
tos A and B) are serious RDF ex* 
perimenters who are always 

Photo B> The completed audio 

amplifier sits on top of the 
Drake SW8 receiver: 

East Robbins Ave.. Newinglon 
CT 06 111- You can also contact 
Dave via E-mail at: [hensondj^], 

I have plans for this rig* and 
ril share them with you by the 
Dayton HamVention 2000! 

While I held on lo most of mv 
money, 1 did get one kit from 
Ten-Tec, It's a Utility Audio 
Amplifier, number 1252. The 
1252 is a rugged portable audio 
amplifier kit thai offers hoih 
high and low impedance inputs. 
The heart of the kit is the 
Signctics TDA261 1A power 
audio IC. It can easily drive the 
internal speaker to 1.5 watts of 

54 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

pure audio. In fact, Ten-Tec uses 
this very same audio chip in 
manv of their ri«s. Most of the 
QRP rigs I have built use the 
popular LM386 audio amplifier. 
Its output on a good day is about 
200-400 inW of audio. 

The 1252 has a preamplifier 
for driving low impedance in- 
puts. You can switch this pream- 
plifier in or out of the circuit if 
you use a high impedance input. 
An internal trimmer allows you 
lo set the gain coming tn from 
the high impedance input. 

I also like the way the 1252 
handles audio input signals. You 
have your choice of either an 
RCA or 1/8" mono input jacks. 

Everything comes together in 
a painted and silk-screened box. 
You also have two choices to 
power the 1252: Use the inter- 
nal 8 AA batteries or an exter- 
nal 12 volt DC source. A 
steering diode selects the exter- 
nal power supply if the input 
voltage is greater than that of the 
internal batten pack. I have not 
tried to use the amplifier with 
an AC -powered power supply. 

Assembh of the 1252 is 
rather straightforward. Every- 
thing (except for the switches) 
is on one small single-sided PC 
board. Assembly consists of 
stuffing the board and wiring up 
the switches. Bear in mind* there 
are a lot of wires going in and 
out of the PC board to the 

All and all, the 1 252 was a 
snap to assemble. Now that it's 
done, what can it do for you? 

Well. Radio Shack sells an 
amplifier in a box. If s based on 
the LM386 and comes with a 
small speaker built-in. It works 
nice, but leaves a lot to be de- 
sired. The 1252, on the other 
hand, is industrial strength. 

If you have experimented 
with a direct conversion re- 
ceiver then you know the im- 
portance of a good, stable audio 
chain. You can work on the RF 
sections, as the audio section is 
easiK handled h\ the 1232. 

The 1 252 would make a great 
signal tracer, too. A .047 cap to 
isolate the 1252 from DC volt- 
age in the test rig, and you'll 

easily be able to track down the 

Ten-Tec included a "listening 
lo energy" booklet and some 
extra pieces parts to play with. 
One is an induction pickup coil 
for amplifying telephone con- 
versations. I use the pickup coil 
and the 1252 when I'm put on 
hold waiting for tech support 
from Microsoft. That way. I can 
go about doing what I need to 
do, while I listen to the voice on 
hold message telling me the all 
service technicians are busy, 
When it's my turn, 1 turn off the 
amplifier and pick up the phone. 
If s a cheap man's version of a 

All and all, I like the 1252. 
It's going to be on my work- 
bench for a very long time. If s 
about $45 and well worth the 
price. Every QRP operator 
should have one in his or her 

If things work as I have 
planned, I'll have some real -lite 
QRP camping lips for next tirne^ 
Keep tuned! 

Photo B* Bob Frey WAftFZV, an OK-KY-IN foxhunter and one of 

the hum organizers, shows off his Roanoke Dapple r antenna set. 

ready to track down RF sources 
for fun and public service. 

All three are members of OH- 
KY-IN Foxhunlers, a very active 
group that draws RDFers from 
a three-state area to monthly T- 
hunts thai usually start in Cin- 
cinnati. These intrepid folks do 
it all vear long, and thev like to 
hum on foot as well as in their 
cars. As an example, the tem- 
perature was only 18 degrees 
Fahrenheit when the February 
hunt began. WAhRZV had put a 
transmitter in a park on the east 
side of the city. That T kept the 
hunters busy for only about a 
half hour, but they knew Bob 
had more in store for them. 

Sure enough, there were four 

Photo C Tape -measure beams 
are very popular for on- foot fox- 
hunting. Joe Leggio WB2HOL 
shows his three-element version 
at the Daxton Foxhunt Fortun. 

more foxboxes within the park, 
all on different frequencies. To 
make sure that the four hunting 
teams didn't play "follow the 
leader/' Bob told them that each 
team had to search for his QRP 
transmitters in a unique order. 
The first team was directed to 
find them 1-2-3-4. the ne\i 2-3- 
4-1, and so forth. One fox was in 
a bush, another between the tires 
of a parked truck, the third inside 
some construction pipe, and the 
last was deep in a snowbank. 

WB4SUV t s team won that 
February event, so Dick had a 
chance to get even in March. 
Winter was still around at that 
time, so he made the hunters 
sniff in the snow once again. But 
first, they had to track down his 
main transmitter. It was at a na- 
ture preserve in Delhi, Ohio. Its 
dipole antenna was in a tree 
along the hank of the Ohio 
River. Three teams tried to ap- 
proach the preserve from the 
Kentucky side and had a lot of 
backtracking lo do. They were 
probably victims of the "river 
effect/ 1 which occurs when VHT 
signals reflect from multiple lo- 
cations along a riverbank and 
give ambiguous bearings, 

RDF extravaganza 

For the 1999 Hamvention 

Foxhunting Forum. Jim. Dick, 
mid Bob envisioned a 3-ring cir- 
cus of RDF. Dale Hunt 
WB6BYU of Portland. Oregon, 

Photo D. WA6EZ\- needed a bullhorn to gel the attention of the 

croud offoxhunters before the hunt started. 

would relate his experiences at 
die 1998 ARDF World Cham 
pionshtps in Hungary (see 
"Homing In" for January 1999). 
He would be assisted by Man in 
Johnston KE6HTS of Santa 
Barbara, California^ who was 
also part of the USA's traveling 

Joe Leggio WB2HOL ( Photo 
C) would do a show-and-tell of 
the many RDF projects he has 
built in the past four years, in- 
cluding foxboxes and rugged di- 
rectional antennas. These projects 
are documented on WB21IOL's 
Web site. It would be my job to 
relate the adventure and intrigue 
of mobile T-hunting, southern 
Califomia-stvle. I figured that 

Chelsea Clock 

Clockmakers since 1 897 
The choice of The Coast 
Guard Foundation. 

Quartz Clock 
4 n Dial 

about ten dozen slides would do 

Our OH-K YIN hosts were in- 
valuable at teaching us first-tim- 
ers the appropriate survival skills 
for Dayton, The worst pan was 
the parking, which is a t-o-n-g 
way from the arena. Fortunately, 
our hosts had passes and could 
deliver all of our paraphernalia 
directly up to the building. But 
watching a few tortured hams try - 
ing lo carry their prize boat an- 
chor purchases from the Ilea mar- 
ket all the way to their vehicles 
convinced me thai next time, I 
should bring a wagon. For that 
muddy dirt parking lot it will 

(Continued on page 56 

Beautifully hand-polished. 

Stamped brass case and 


Curved glass crystal- 

Wall or bulkhead mounting. 

Made so well they last from 
generation to generation! 

Order this month and save 
S20 f 

Your price S75 

Omega Sales 

P.O. Box 376 

JaffreyNH 03452 


73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 55 

Photo IL Yep, ifs really in there, 
Richard Lorenzeu WA0AKC 
holds u log transmitter, complete 
with numbered tag. 

Homing In 

continued from page 55 

need big wheels. Maybe a moon 

The Dayton flea market lived 
up lo its reputation. Easily hig- 
her than all three southern Cali- 
fornia monthly swap meets put 
together, it was far too much to 
cover iji our limited available 
time. But we did manage to 
check out the booths of some 
suppliers of RDF stuff, includ- 
ing Dave Peleaz AH2AR and 
Fred Reimers KF9GX. 

The only hitch in the Fox- 
hunting Forum was a last- 
minute lime change from 1 000 
to 0815 hours on Saturday, 

Photo R First-prize winner 
was Dale Hunt \YR6BYl_ of 
Portland. Oregon, who was the 
only one to find It of the 16 

56 73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 

Because it besan too early for 
many attendees who were siill 
in line trying to get their tick* 
ets ( the room filled up more 
slowly than predicted, By the 
end. though, there was a big 
crowd listening to ■ WA6EZV wrap 
up the forum by promoting the 
Hamvemion foxhunt, w^hieh 
would be held that afternoon. 

Exercise, fun, and prizes 

I was glad to find out that this 
year's foxhunt was not for mo- 
biles. The thought of putting 
RDF gear in a rental ear did not 
appeal, nor did the prospect ol 
competing against OH-KY-IN 
foxhunters on their home streets 
and highways. This Da\ ion fox* 
hunt was all on foot but il didn't 
demand Olympian abilities 
(Photo D). 

The hunt area, across a high- 
way from the convention site, 
included the exterior of a school 
building, a parking lot, and a 
Held with a baseball diamond 
and large water tower, Each per- 
son was handed a card with in- 
dividual frequencies ol the I ft 
transmitters on this hunt. (I think 
all 16 were out there, but die re 
were a couple that I never heard J 
The goal was to find the most 
foxes in a 90- minute period. 

Foxes could be found in any 
order. Thev were concealed in- 


side sidewalk cracks, logs, old 
tire carcasses, and so forth 
(Photo Ek A small black-and- 
gold label with a unique 3-digit 
number was next lo each one, to 
be written onto the frequency 
card. There wvrenodeeu\ labels, 
(Well, none thai I encountered. 
any way J 
Transmission times ranged 


from a few seconds each minute 
to continuous- Since all foxes 
were on separate frequencies, 
there was no problem of them 
QRMing each other. However, 
hunters had to program 16 fre- 
quencies into their HTs and 
scanners (32 if they used offset 
attenuation) for best efficiency. 
Even busier were users of 
sinde-tumdial ARDF sets such 
as the Russian Altai or Austra- 
lian Ron Graham units (See 
"Homing In* for December 

Photo G. Paul Gruettner WB90DQ won second place and took 
home a new transceiver, along with the congratulations of 

1997). Their owners were con- 
stantly twisting the tuning knob. 
Users of ! MH/ offset aueiiua- 
tors had their own problems, as 
some of the fox frequencies 
were spaced ! MHz apart. 
What's more, there were plenty 
of simplex QSOs taking place 
in the Hamvention arena a quar- 
ter mile away. Many fox signals 
were so weak that you had to be 
within 50 feet to pick them up 
at all, even with a beam antenna. 
Teaming and collaboration on 
the course was permitted, but 
there could be onlv two hunters 


on a team ar most. A 4i one RDF 
antenna per team" rule was also 
in effect. This kept team mem- 
bers from hunting indepen- 
dently and then pooling the it- 
scores- But it allowed a hunter 
to have extra eyes to spot the 
tiny tags. 1 took advantage of 
this rule by inviting Richard 
Lorenzen WA0AKG to come 
along with me. 

When my directional and sig- 
nal strength indications told me 
I was very close lo a fox, I would 

discreetly back awav and let 

. - 

Richard surreptitiously uncover 
the tag and get the number. This 
made it less likelv that the exact 
locations would be given away 
to someone watching me. In ret- 
rospect, it would have been 
smart to send him out running 
with just an HT, to see if he 
could catch a whiff of some of 

the elusive very-QRP foxes. 
Then I could have finished 
tracking them down with the 
RDF gear. 

After the 90 minutes of scur- 
rying were over, it was time to 
tally the results. Winners were 
determined first by number of 
foxes found and second by 
speed. To judge speed and to 
avoid lies, each hunter had been 
encouraged lo have his card 
checked regularly by course of- 
ficials, who would mark the 


^sfe Wl 

M \mm 

^^ ■ 


Plwto K Lars Nonigmi SM0OY 
is a champion foxhttnier from 
Stockholm who couldn V miss the 
opporhaiity to go foxhunting at 
Dayton. Lars was one of the 
hosts of the 1994 ARDF World 
Championships in Sweden 

Number St on your Feedback card 


Listings are free of charge as space permits. Please send us 
your Calendar Event two months in advance of the issue you 
want it to appear in. For example, if you want it to appear in 
the December issue, we should receive it by October 31, Pro- 
vide a clear, concise summary of the essential details about 
your Calendar Event. 

SEP 18 

of north central Maine will hold 
their 7th Hamfest at the Ella Burr 
School in Lincoln ME on Sep. 1 8th. 
VE exams will be held in the 
school complex. For further 
details, call Hamfest Committee 
Chairman Max Soucia at (207) 
564*8943; or Sylvia Cockburn 
N1JNR, (207) 732-51 85 1 Fax 

SEP 18-19 

EL PASO, TX The 1 999 El Paso 
Southwest international Ham- 
fiesta will be located at the Ysleta 
Independent Cultural Arts Center, 
9600 Sims. El Paso TX. It will be 
open 8a,m -5 p.m. Sep. 18th, and 
9a.m -1 p.m. Sep. 19th. Tafk-inon 
146.88. Please contact Craig A. 
iyles KC7UXM, (915) 821-7501. 

SEP 24-26 

Way of Northern NH will sponsor 
the Lancaster Super Moose 

Festival Hamfest and Computer 
Flea Market. This event will be 
held at the Lancaster Fairgrounds, 
Rte, 3, Lancaster NH. More than 
200 hookups in the selling area. 
Miles of tailgatmg space. Large 
commercial vendor space. On-site 
parking. S25 per night for camping 
space with hookup, General 
admission S3 per day. Vendor fees 
for the weekend (tables not 
provided) include one weekend 
admission: (A) $20 outside, no 
electricity: (B) S30 outside, 
electricity; (C) S50 for inside 
buildings. Make check payable to 
United Way Of Northern NH, and 
mail to Lancaster Super Moose 
Festival. P.O. Box 614, Berlin NH 
03570. Russ N1YZE is your 
contact person. Tei (603) 752- 
3343; E-maif [unitedway® Fax (707) 202-1871. 

TAPR 18th Annual Digital 
Communications Conference will 
lake place at the Holiday Inn 
Select Airport. Special DCC room 
rates are S69/single and S79/ 

double per night. When making 
reservations with the hotel be sure 
to indicate you are attending the 
ARRL and TAPR DCC in order to 
get the discount. Book your room 
ahead of time. The hotel provides 
transportation to and from the 
Phoenix Sky Harbor International 
Airport. Please arrange trans- 
portation needs ahead of time: 
Holiday Inn Select Airport (con- 
ference hotel), 4300 E Wash- 
ington, Phoenix AZ 85034. Tei. 
(602) 273-7778; Fax (602) 286- 
1 1 09. Pre- registration, before Sep. 
1st, $42. Registration after Sep. 
1st or at the door, S47. Saturday 
Evening Dinner. S22. The 3rd 
Annual APRS National Sympo- 
sium. Fri.. 1 p.m.-7 p.m.. S25. 
Technical Seminar on HDTV. Fri., 
5 p.m -7 p.m., S1 5. A PIC Design. 
Development, and Programming 
Seminar wilt be conducted by the 
TAPR PIC Development Team, 
Sun,, 8:30 am-2 p,m., $20. Full 
info on the conference and on 
lodging can be obtained by 
contacting Tucson Amateur 
Packet Radio. (940) 383-0000; 
Fax. (940) 566-2544. E-mail}. The Web site is 

SEP 25 

ERARA and DBARA clubs have 
again joined together to bring you 
the 3rd annual Daytona Beach 
Hamfest and Computer Show, 
Sat., Sep. 25th, 9 a.m. -5 p.m., at 
the Embry Riddle Aeronautical 
Univ. campus on Clyde Morris 

Blvd.. just 1 mite south of 
International Speedway. Talk-in on 
147.150(+600), starting at 7 a.m. 
Doors open 9 a,m. sharp. Lunch 
will be provided at modest cost by 
Embry-Riddle student organi- 
zations. Admission is S5, For 
advance tickets send a check or 
money order along with an SASE 
to ERAU C/O Student Activities, 
600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., 
Daytona Beach FL 32114. before 
Sep, 10th, Handicap parking is 
provided. 6-ft tables with power 
are $7 for one. S6 for each 
additional. 5-fL tables are $6 for 
one table. S5 for each additional 
All tables have power connections . 
Tailgate sites in the paved parking 
lot are S3, no power. VE exams for 
all classes. There will be a hidden 
transmitter hunt (with a S50 cash 
prize) at 4 p.m. You must have a 
paid admission ticket and sign up 
for the hunt before 4 p.m. to be 
eligible for the prize, Contact 
DBARA-Hamfest P.O. Box 9852, 
Daytona Beach FL 32120; or E- 
maif [m unseyj @ min dspring, com}. 
Web pages are a\ [http://} and 
(http://wwwMb.erau, edu/campus/ 

Radio Assn. of the Southern Tier 
will present its 24th Annual Etmira 
International Hamfest-Computer- 
fest on Sat., Sep, 25th, at the 
Chemung County Fairgrounds in 
Horseheads, Taik-in will be on 
147.360. with an alternate 
frequency of 146.700 (in case the 
primary frequency is down). There 

number of foxes found so far 
and the exact time. If two or 
mure individuals/learns had the 
same number of foxes at the 
end, an earlier cheek time would 
place higher in the standings. 

None of the participants 
found all 1 6 foxes. Winner of the 
hunt and a new voice/packet 
transceiver was WB6BYU 
(Photo FK who was the only 
one to find II of ihem. Dale. 
hunting alone, used the Name 
VK4BRG ARDF receiver/an- 
tenna set thai he took to the 
ARDF World Championships in 
Hungary last year. 

Second place was Paul 
GruoltnerWB90DQ (Photo G) 

of Nashville, assisted by Lurry 
Christianson WB9SDD. Paul 
took home a new 6- meter mo- 
bile rig for his efforts. He later 
wrote, "We got off to a slow 
start. The first transmitter signal 
directed us straight towards the 
water lower. Upon gelling there, 
we discovered it must have been 
a reflection because the signal 
then pointed back towards the 
school building. After digging 
through the bushes for a few 
more minutes, we found our tirvi 
transmitter, against the school 
building, behind some hedges. 
Twenty minutes had passed. 
After that, things started to im- 
prove and our lime between 

finding transmitters started to 
shorten. Locations of ones we 
found included the base of a 
street light, a crack between a 
concrete walk and a building, 
and inside a small log amidst a 

Three entrants found ten 
foxes and three (including yours 
truly) found nine. I used an 
ICOM R10 scanner and active 
attenuator as described in 
"Homing In " for May 1998. Its 
4 MHz offset was a big help in 
minimizing QRM from the hun- 
dreds of hams on the air nearby 
during the hum. Coming all the 
way from Sweden was Lars 
Nordgren SM0OY {Phota H), 

who found five. At the other ex- 
treme, a couple of hunters found 
only one fox. but the} said they 
still had a fine time, 

I'm glad I kept this New 
Year's resolution. Il was great to 
spend three days with a bunch 
of friendly midwest hams who 
know how to have fun with 
RDF. No mailer where \ou are. 
your RDF activities arc of inter- 
est to 73*$ readers. Send your 
foxhunt stories and photos to 
the postal and E-mail ad- 
dresses at the beginning of this 
article. All of the Web sites 
mentioned above are accessible 
hy link from the "Homing IrT 
Web site. 

73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 57 

will be deafer displays of new I 
equipment, and a large flea 
mafket area. Breakfast and lunch 
will be served on the premises, 
Admission is S4 for advance 
tickets, $5 at the gate, The event 
will run 6 a,m + -3 p.m. T with VE 
exams starting at 9 am. For VE 
exam info, contact John at (607) 
565-4020, Dealers, please call 
Gary at (607) 739-0134, For 
tickets, call Dave at (607) 589- 

SEP 26 

BOWIE, MD The Foundation for 
Amateur Radio (FAR) will sponsor 
the 42nd annual F.A.R.Fest 
amateur radio hamfest on Sun M 
Sep. 26th t at Prince Georges 
Stadium, 1/4 mile south of the 
junction of US-50 on US-301 in 
Bowie (between Washington DC 
and Annapolis MD}, Directions: 
From points north, take I-95 south 
to the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) to 
Exit 4 (t-97 South) toward 
Annapolis. On I-97 South, take 
Exit 7 (Route 3 South— Bowie/ 
Odenton). Take Route 3 for 
approx. 11 miles. After passing 
under the Route 50 overpass, 
proceed to second traffic light and 
turn left into Stadium Drive. Note: 
Route 3 changes to Route 301 
after you pass under Route 50. 
From points south, take I- 9 5 North 
to Exit 104 (Route 301 North). 
Take 301 North past Upper 
Marlboro. Go through the traffic 
light at the Route 197 intersection 
(Rip's Country Inn will be on the 
right}. At the next traffic light, turn 
right into Stadium Drive. From 
points east, take Route 50 West 
to Exit 13A (Route 301 South), At 
the second traffic light turn left 
into Stadium Drive. From points 
West: From 1-70 East, follow 
directions coming from points 
north. From Washington DC or the 
Capital Beltway: From DC r take 
New York Ave. to Route 50 East, 
or the Capital Beltway, Exit 1 9A 
(Route 50 East). Take Route 50 to 
Exit 11 (Route 197). Go south on 
Route 1 97 for approx. 1 .5 miles to 
Route 301 . Turn left onto Route 
301 and remain in the right lane. 
Turn right at first traffic light into 
Stadium Drive, This hamfest 
location has a paved area that will 
accommodate over 700 tailgaters. 
Vendors and other sellers will be 
able to set up under the canopy 
of the stadium concourse. General 
admission S5 at the gate. S1Q for 

tailgating (admission ticket 
required). Vendors and other 
exhibitors should contact Marry 
Morris N4TCI, [radio© hotmaiL 
com] or (703) 971-3905. Special 
Event Station W3PRUAM will be 
on display. For general info on 
FAR.Fest 99, contact At Brown 
KZ3A B, [amateurradio hotmait. 
com] or (301) 490-31 88, Talk-in on 
146.520 MHz and 147.105 MHz. 

YONKERS, NY The Metro 70 CM 
Network will host a Giant 
Electronic Flea Market Sep. 26th 
at Lincoln High School, Kneeland 
Ave,. Yonkers NY, 9 a.m. -3 p.m., 
rain or shine, Free parking. No 
tailgating. Indoor flea market only. 
Donation $6, kids under 12 free. 
Vendors, for advance table reser- 
vations, the 1st table is SI 9. S15 
each additional table All tables 30 
inches x 5 ft,, or bring your own 
tables at $14 for a 6- ft.4ong 
space. Tables are S25 each at the 
door, or S20 for a 6-fL space. Full 
payment is due with registration. 
Table setups are at 7 a + m, For 
registration, call Otto Supiiski 
WB2SLQ, (914) 969-1053. Talk-in 
on 440,425 MHz PL 156.7; 
223,760 MHz PL 67,0; 146.910 
MHz; and 443.350 MHz PL 1 56,7. 
Mail paid reservations to Metro 70 
CM Network. 53 Hay ward St. 
Yonkers NY 10704. 

OCT 1-2 

Hamfest '99 will be held at Jones 
Center for Families, 922 E, Emma 
Ave. (north of the airport).. FrL 
Oct. 1st. 7 p.m -9 p.m.: Sat, Oct. 
2nd. 8 a.m -2 p.m. Setup both 
days. To pre-register for VE 
exams, contact Doug MacDonald 
W4FH. 684 Cliff side Dr., Fay- 
ettevifieAR 72701 -38 13: tef. (501) 
443-3359, Admission S5, Tables 
$6, Tailgate S4. Free parking. For 
reservations or general info, 
contact Northwest Arkansas ARC, 
P.O. Box 24, Farmington AR 
72730; or Clarence Morrow 
KC5UEW, Chairman. P.O. Box 
264. Rogers AR 72757-0264. TeL 
(501) $31-9231. 

OCT 1-3 

Southwestern Div. Convention will 
be held aboard the Queen Mary 
Ocean Liner Hotel. Pier J in Long 
Beach CA. It is located at the 
south tip of the Long Beach 
Freeway and is only a short 1/2 

hour drive from Los Angeles 
Intematl. Airport. Banquet tickets 
are limited and you are advised 
to reserve seats eariy. For more 
info, please write to HAMCOM, 
P.O. Box 17864, Long Beach CA 
90807, or visit them on the Web 
at [ 
hamcon). The featured banquet 
speaker will be W, Riley Hollings- 
worth K4ZDH. FCC Legal Advisor 
for Enforcement, He will speak 
Sat. evening. October 2nd. Film 
Television producer Dave Bell 
W6AQ will be Master of Cer- 
emonies for the evenL In addition 
to speaking at the banquet, 
Hollingsworth will also host an 
open FCC Forum earlier in the 

OCT 2 

Amateurs of Greater Syracuse will 
hold the 43rd 'RAGS 1999 
Hamfest" at the Pompey Hills Fire 
DepL, just off Route 20, Sat., Oct. 
2nd, 8 a.m.-2 p,m- Talk-in on 
147,90/,30. Admission $5, 16 and 
older. Outside flea market spaces 
S3. Indoor tables must be 
reserved, S10 plus admission 
ticket, Mail payment to RAGS, Box 
88. Liverpool NY 13088. TeL (315) 
469-0590. 8-ft. space, S5 (bring 
your own table). Friday setup 4 
p.m.-9 p.m., Saturday setup 6 
a.m>~8 a.m. Tailgaters, $3 1 x 20 
ft, space, plus admission. Visit the 
Web site at [ 
-rags]. For VE exams, pre-register 
by Sep. 24th. Send name, 
address, phone number, test(s) 
you are applying for, to Exams, 
Box 15144. Syracuse NY 13215. 
Breakfast and lunch served 7 
a.m.-1:30 p.m. by the Pompey 
Hills Fire Dept. 

a,m. until 9 p.m. the Mt. Airy VHF 
Radio Club will present the 1999 
Mid-Atlantic States VHF Con- 
ference at the Hampton Inn, 1 500 
Easton Rd*. Willow Grove PA (Rte. 
611 , 1/4 mile below the Willow 
Grove Exit #27 of the PATumpike). 
CaH (215} 659-3535 for room 
reservations. Conference regis- 
tration is $24 per person at the 
door, which includes an admission 
ticket for H AMARAMA, being held 
the following day. Contact John 
Sortor KB3XG. 1214 N Trooper 
Rd.. Nonistown PA 19403. E-mail 
[johnkb3xg@aoLcoml TeL (610) 
584-2489. See the Pack Rat Web 

site at {} 
for location maps and additional 

OCT 3 

Airy VHF Radio Club (Packfats) 
will hold its annual HAMARAMA 
on Sun,, Oct. 3rd, at the Mid- 
dletown Grange Fairgrounds, 
Penns Park Rd. (between Rtes. 
232 and 413). Wrightstown PA. 
Open to the public at 7 a.m. for a 
$5 donation. Doors open to 
vendors at 6 a.m. for outdoor 
tailgating spaces for $10 each, 
plus general admission charge. 
Indoor spaces with 8-ft. tables 
available at S15 each by pre* 
registration only. Sellers of new 
and used amateur radio equip- 
ment, electronic components and 
computer hardware/software 
vendors are invited to participate. 
Talk-in on 146.52 simplex. For 
more info, contact Mark Schretner 
NK8Q. 662 Caff ertyRd., Ottsville 
PA 18942; E-mail [nk8q@amsat. 
org]; TeL (215) 847-2285; or Bob 
Minch N3XEM, E-mait[raminch@}; TeL (215) 822- 

OCT 8-11 

SAN DIEGO, CA The 1999 
AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting and 
Space Symposium will be at the 
Hanalei Hotel in the heart of San 
Diego's Mission Valley, Oct, 8th, 
9th, 10th t and 11th. Hotel 
reservations can be made by 
calling 1 -300-882-0858. Be sure 
to mention AMSAT to receive the 
S85 per night discounted group 
rate. This rate is available for 
rooms reserved between Oct. 4th 
and Oct. 12th. The local contact 
for the AMSAT event is Duane 
Naugie K06BT, [ko6bt@amsat. 
org]. There are many nearby 
attractions for entertainment and 
recreation, including the San 
Diego Zoo. [www.sandiegozoo, 
org], and Disneyland [disneygo. 
com/Disneyland/index, html]. 

OCT 10 

LIMA, OH The Northwest Ohio 
ARC will host the Lima Hamfest 
& Computer Show, Oct. 10th, 8 
a.ra-2 p + m. t at the Allen County 
Fairgrounds in Lima OH, This 
location is 1 mile easton Rte. 309, 
Off l~75, Exit 125/126. Free 
parking, large building, indoor 

58 73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 

facilities. No alcoholic beverages 
allowed on premises. Free 
camping; electrical hookup S10, 
Trunk sales. 1 2-ft and 24-ft areas, 
$5, plus tickets, Tickets $4 in 
advance, $5 at the gate. 8-ft. 
tables, $10 each, includes one 
free ticket For table reservations, 
tickets, SASE to N.O.A.R.C, P.O. 
Box 211, Lima OH 45802*0211, 
Tel. (419) 647-6321, or E-mail 
[]. Visit the 
Web site at []. 

MASON, Ml Lansing Civil De- 
fense Repeater Assn, and Centra] 
Michigan ARC will hold the 
LCERA & CM ARC Hamfair and 
Computer Show at the heated 
Community Center in the NW 
comer of the Ingham County 
Fairgrounds in Mason Ml. Take US 
127 to the Kipp Rd. exit. Take Kipp 
Rd East to the Fairgrounda Haifl 
gear, electronics, computers. 
Admission $5 per person. Tables 
S10. Trunk sales SB. Plenty of 
parking, handicap parking avail* 
able, Refreshments, overnight 
camping available. Vendor setup 
6 a.m. Talk-in on 145.390{-60Q). 
Contact Don Wilson WB8NUS, 
(517) 321-2004; or Erv Bates 
W8ERV, (517) 676-2710, Write to 
LCORA t P.O. Box 80106. Lansing 
Ml 48908. Send E-mail to [w8erv]. 

Annual Nutmeg Hamfest & 
Computer Show, featuring the 
ARRL Connecticut State Con- 
vention, will be held {rain or shine) 
Oct. 10th, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the 
Mountainside Special Event 
Facility. High Hill Rd. T Wallingford 
CT Exit 15 Rte. 91 {North or 
South), follow signs. General 
admission $6, children under 12, 
$3, Inside spaces $25. includes 
one 10 x 10-ft. booth, one 8-ft. 
table, one chair, and 2 free passes 
per vendor. Outside tailgate space, 
30 ft. for S1 5. Vendor setup starts 
at 6 a.m. Send payment to Gordon 
Barker K1BIY. 9 Edge Wood Rd.. 
Portland CT 06480, TeL (860) 342- 
3258. E-mail (nutmeghamfesW]. Visit the Web site at 
Proceeds from the event will help 
support public service, scholar- 
ship, and civic activities. 

OCT 11 

Kitsap ARC Of Silverdale WA will 
host a hamfest at President's Hall, 

Kitsap County Fairgrounds. WW 
corner of Fairgrounds Road at 
Nels Nelson Rd, Talk-in on 
146.62(-) offset PL tone 1Q3.5H 
WWRA rptr,, or 146.52 simplex. 
Admission S5 for 12 and over, 
under 12 free. New and used 
equipment Tables S15 each with 
1 free admission until Sep, 30th: 
S20 each afterwards. Commercial 
spaces are S30 each. Electrical 
connection $2 per table. Contact 
Marde Stilwell KC7DAT, P. O. Box 
2268, Silverdale WA 98383-2268. 
TeL (360)697-2797; E-mail [nkarc©]. 

OCT 16 

GODFREY, IL The Lewis & Clark 
Radio Club wilt hotd their Mid-west 
Amateur Radio & Computer Expo 
at the Lewis & Clark Community 
College in Godfrey IL, in the River 
Bend Arena. Free parking. Indoor 
flea market, commercial vendors, 
all handicap accessible, Doors 
open at 8 a.m. Setup Fri, OcL 15th 
after 6 pm, or Sat., Oct. 16th at 6 
a.m. Tables S10 each; call (618) 
254-9465 for reservations. VE 
exams: Pre-registration is required 
for "No Code" exams. Walk-ins are 
okay for all other class exams. For 
pre-registration or info call Rich 
Morgan KFBF (618) 466-2306. 
For info and tickets, write to Lewis 
3 Clark Radio Club, P.O. BOX553, 
Godfrey IL 62035; or calf (618) 
466-1909. Talk-in on 145.230 and 
442225. E-mail [N9WHH@ezL 
com]. Visit the Web site at [http:// 

GRAY, TN The 1 5th Annual Tri- 
Cities Hamfest will be held by the 
Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson 
City Radio Ciubs 1 on SaL, Oct. 
1 6th, at the Appalachian Fair 
Grounds, located off 1-181 in Gray 
TN. A large drive-in indoor and 
outdoor flea market space is 
available. RV hookups. Admission 
is S5. Mail inquiries to P.O. Box 
3682 CRS, Johnson City TN 

OCT 17 

KALAMAZOO, Ml The 17th 

Annual Kalamazoo Hamfest will 
be held at the Kalamazoo County 
Fairgrounds, starting at 8 a,m. 
Vendor setup at 6 a.m. Advance 
tickets £3, S4 at the door, Trunk 
sales S5. For tickets/tables, send 
SASE to Gary Hazelton N8GH f 
75075 M-40, Lawton Ml 49065. 

For contact or info, check the Web 
site at [ 
hamfesthtml}; or E-mail [ka8bfo@]. 

ARC Hamfest will be held at the 
Sellersville Fire House, Rte. 152, 
5 miles south of Quakertown and 
S miles north of Montgomeryville 
PA, Talk-in on 145.31. Admission 
S5> VE exams 10a.m.-1 pm, ail 
classes. Please bring documents. 
Indoor flea market spaces $12 t 
table included. Outdoor spaces 
S6> bring tables. For further info, 
call the Hamfest Hotline: Linda 
Erdman (215) 679-5764; 2220 Hill 
Rd. f Perkiomenviffe PA 18074. 
Website: {HTTP;//WWW.RFHtLL 


RICKREALL f OR The Mid-Valley 
ARES* of Salem OR, will present 
its 5th Annual Swap-Toberfest and 
Amateur Radio Emergency Ser- 
vices Convention at the Polk 
County Fairgrounds on Sal, Oct, 
23rd. Talk-in on the 146.86(-) rptr. 
Doors will be open for the 
convention 9 am-3:30 p.m. Swap 
table setup will be 6-9 p.m. Fri. 
night. Oct. 22nd T and on Sat. 
morning. Oct. 23rd, at 7 a.m. Only 
2 pre-regtstered participants 
allowed per table during setup; all 
must register Seff contained RV 
spaces available, S10 per night. 
Commercial vendor space S25 
(for 2 tables}, Mail to Mid-Valley 
ARES, P.O. Box 13848, Safem OR 
97309. Pre-registrations post 
marked by Oct. 8th will receive an 
extra door prize ticket with each 
registration. Registrations re- 
ceived Oct. 16th or later will be 
held for pick-up at the door. 
Features include meetings and 
seminars. Additionally, emergency 
communications vehicles will be 
on display from Marion and Potk 
County Emergency Management, 
Civil Air PatroL American Red 
Cross, the Oregon State Police, 
and others as available. Advance 
tickets $5, $6 at the door. Age 12 
and under free. Non-power swap 
tables $13 each (do not mix non~ 
power with power). Power swap 
tables S15 each. For more info 
contact Bob Boswelt W7LOU. 
(503) 623-2513; or E*mail to 
[]. To down- 
load a copy of the flyer and pre- 
registration form, surf the Net for 
[http://www. 7ifj/ 


SEP 25-26 

ateur Radio Group, Inc, will 
operate KE4ZXW Sat.. Sep. 25th 
and Sua, Sep, 26th. 0-24 00Z on 
UO-22 or KO-25; 1500-2200Z at 
:00on 7.265: at :15 on 14,265 and 
at :30 on 28,365, The occasion is 
to celebrate 4 full years of 9600- 
baud automatic satellite station 
operation, and amateur radio 
exhibit. To apply for an Anniver- 
sary QSL. SASE to Ed Brummer 
W4RTZ, 108 Oyster Cove fk£* 
Yorktown VA 23692 USA. 

ERIE OH The Sandusky Radio 
Experimental League will operate 
their station W8LBZ for 24 hours 
from Middle Bass Island (OH004) 
in Lake Erie, starting at 16:00 UTC 
on Sep. 25th and ending at 1 6:00 
UTC on Sep, 26th. Listen for them 
on 7.230 T 14.235, and 28.350. 
Please QSL with an SASE to 
W8L8Z t Sandusky Radio Exper- 
imental League , Inc., 2909 W, 
Perkins, Sandusky OH 44870 
USA. Visit their Web site at 

OCT 2-3 

CAMBRIDGE. MA The Harvard 
Wireless Club is celebrating the 
90th Anniversary of its founding by 
Professor George W. Pierce in 
early 1 909. They will be on the air 
1200Z-OOOOZ both days, 24 hours 
total. Frequencies + will be: HF 
SSB— 3.890, 7.270, 14,270, 
21 .370. 28.390. HF CW— 35 kHz 
up from the lower band edges. 
VHF SSB— 50.150. 144.200, 
432.150- A special 90th Anniver- 
sary QSL will be sent to all those 
sending QSLs for contacts with 
the special event station. In 
addition, each OSL with an SASE 
enclosed will receive complimen- 
tary souvenir QSL cards from past 
W1 AF DXpeditions: US1 A, PJ1 A, 
and PJ8H. Mail to Harvard Wire- 
less Club W1AF f Harvard Univer- 
sity, 6 Linden St., Cam- bridge MA 
02138, USA, For fur- ther info P 
contact club officials at [w1af@ 
harvard.edul The club's Web site 
(s at [httpJ/wwwMcs. 

73 Ad Sales 



73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 59 


Number 60 on your feedback c&rd 

Jim Gray W1XU/7 
210 E Chateau Circle 
Payson AZ 85541 
Qimpeg @] 


This month is expected to 
provide some excellent DX op- 
portunities on the HF bands, al- 
though Cycle 23 continues its 

sliiiitnsh and slothful wavs and the 
solar flux index remains below 
200 at the time of this report 

Your best days are expected 
to be 4-7, 12/i3, and 16-18. 
The poorest days are expected 
Lo concentrate al the end o( the 
month between the 25th and the 
30th. when you can expect a 
very disturbed magnetic field, 
poor signals (if any) on DX 
paths, high RF absorption and 
Strong geophysical upsets on 
earth, including the possibility 
of a major hurricane during the 
last week, (See calendar, i Seni/wr 


October does not begin well 
for DX signal propagation on 
the HF bands, As you can sec 
from the calendar, propagation 
is expected to be Poor or Very 
Poor from the 1st through the 
9th. A disturbed magnetic field 
and very upsci ionosphere is 
likely to prevail during thai pe- 
riod, and you may expect some 
other very pronounced geo- 
physical effects on the 7ih, 8th, 
and Oth. 

"Conditions" should improve 
with chances for guud DX 
propagation during the week 
between the llih and 1 Hth, 
However, strong geophysical 
disturbances will probably re- 
turn with magnetic field upsets 
and an active ionosphere tor the 
week between the 20th and 
27th. A slight improvement and 
much better DX propagation is 
anticipated for the last three 
days of the month. 

Your best opportunities for 
logging new and possibly rare 
countries will occur between the 
12th and 1 7th and again on the 
3()ih and 3 1st. Good luck and 
patience for the other days. 

Band-by-band forecast 

10-12 meters 

Expect morning F2 path 
openings to Europe and Africa; 
on (G) days, midday path open- 
ings to South and Central 
America, and F2 path openings 
to Japan, Australasia, and the 
Pacific during the afternoon at 
\our location. DX moves west 
as the day progresses. 

15-17 meters 

Expect good DX paths to 
most areas of the world, with 
excellent openings from the 
northern hemisphere to Africa, 
South America, and the Pacific 
during hours of daylight and 
peaking during local afternoon. 
Good short-skip communication 
over KKX) miles will occur on 
(G) days. 

20 meters 

Very good DX openings io all 
areas of the world from sunrise 
through the early darkness 
hours. The signals will peak an 
hour or two after sunrise at your 
location, and again during the 
afternoon. Short skip beyond 
about 700 miles will occur dur- 
ing daytime hours, 

30-40 meters 

Good worldwide DX open- 
ings from sunset to sunrise 
should occur on (G) days. Noise 
levels (static) will be higher if 

September 1999 








1 F 

2 F 

3 F-G 

4 G 

5 G 

6 G 

7 G 

8 G-F 

9 F 

10 F 

11 F-G 

12 G 

13 G 

14 G-F 

15 F-G 

16 G 



19 G-F 

20 F-P 

21 F-P 


23 F 

24 F-P 

25 P 

26 P-VP 

27 VP 

28 VP-P 

29 VP-P 


30 P 

thunderstorms occur, and can 

depress audibility. Short skip 
between 1 00 and 1000 miles 
will occur during daylight 
hours, and at distances beyond 
1000 miles at night. 

80-1 60 meters 

On 80. DX to the southern 
hemisphere and to Europe 
should occur after dark and dur- 
ing sunrise hours — limited, of 
course, by static noise levels. 

Daytime short skip to about 350 
miles, and beyond 500 miles 

after dark, will prevail on (Gi 
days. On 1 60. no daytime propa- 
gation will occur due to iono- 
spheric absorption of signals, 
but after dark, peaking around 
midnight and again during the 
predawn hours, you should be 
able to work many areas of the 
world. Short skip from 1000- 
2000 miles or so will prevail 
during the nighttime hours ... 




i "■ 

12 14 "!6 20 











-5 17 

_ : --- 


20 3D 









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15 ■-' 








1 -; - ; 



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20/30 J 












LJ j-_ 












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to u 

■ i:- 


(RUSSIA rets,' 


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20. 3C 

■= 17 

















IS 17 




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2Di ? 30 











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40 M 








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1= H " 










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ir. -7 












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15 17 


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15 " 



10/ '2 



15.' 17 











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317] 1Q>'15 

--f-FUW. 4 

10 IS 


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tk iL 




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ISM 7 












60 73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 

October 1999 









1 VP-P 

2 P 

3 P-F 

4 F-P 

5 P 

6 P 

7 P-VP 

8 VP 

9 VP-P 


1t F-G ' 

12 G 

13 G 

14 G 


16 G 

17 G 


19 F-P 

20 P-VP 

21 VP 

22 VP-P 

23 P 

24 P-VP 

25 VP l 

26 VP-P 

27 P 

28 P-F 

29 F-G 

30 G 

31 G 

but, as always, it will be limited 
by high static levels from thun- 
derstorm activity. 

Don't forget to work the dark- 
ness path (±30 minutes around 
local sunset). 

Check the bands above and 
below Ihe suggested ones for 
possible DX surprises. It's of- 
ten a good idea to park your re- 
ceiver on a seemingly unused 

frequency and just waiL A DX 
station is very likely to pop up 
before any one else hears him, 
and you can snag a good catch. 
Please note that the Band- 
Time-Coumry chart is the same 
for both September and Octo- 
ber; (*) indicates a possible 80 
meter opening; and (-) indicates 
a difficult path. Good burning! 
W1XU/7. E3 

Neuer SRV DIE 

continued from page 42 

tasting fruit and vegetables, 
that spreading about one 
pound of Azomite per ten 
square feet of garden will get 
planus lo grow about three 
times faster Even trees! 

Azomite is some stuff they 
dial up out in Utah from what 
used to be an ancient sea- 
floor bed. More and more 
nursery suppliers are stocking 

Now, I wonder what would 
happen if someone were to 
use all 13 of the plant growth 
enhancers I've written about 
so far, all at once? 

By the way, there's a new 
printing of the soil book, 
which has been difficult to 
find. Call ASD at 800-243- 
1438 and tell "em Wayne sent 


Even listening to Gary 
North being interviewed by 
Art Bell about the ramifica- 
tions of Y2K tends to almost 
get me thinking. 

So what would happen if 
millions of people got wor- 
ried enough about the poten- 
tial problems the Y2K bug 
might generate to put aside 
some cash? You know, just in 

There's enough cash in cir- 
culation to take care of little 
more than a small extra de- 
mand, and yes. I know about 
the S50 billion the treasury is 
printing lo try to meet the 
problem. Our whole money 
system is a house of cards. 
We get paid, we put our 
money into a bank and then 
draw checks on it. The hank's 
business is lending out our 
money and getting paid inter- 
est on the loans, so they lend 
out 97% of the money depos- 
ited. Everything works just fine 
until several depositors simul- 
taneously withdraw their money. 
It doesn't take much of ihis 
before the well runs dry. 
Three percent. 

So what will happen if 
there is even a slight panic 
and depositors start either 
drawing out some cash (just 
in case) or not making any 
more deposits, but continue 

to pay their bills with checks? 
The banks will quickly run 
out of money and not be able 

to honor the checks. What 
will happen if people stop de- 
positing their paychecks, but 
ask for cash instead? There 
will be no cash. What if cash- 
heavy businesses such as fast 
food restaurants start holding 
back some cash every day, 
you know, just in case. The 
whole banking system would 

The interesting aspect of all 
this is that there is nothing the 
banks can do to avoid the 
coming problem! 

I'm reminded of what hap- 
pened in California right after 
a recent earthquake. Within a 
couple hours, every shelf in 
the local food stores had been 
picked clean. 

Panic Attack 

The media are finally be- 
ginning to wake up to the po- 
tential ramifications of the 
Y2K problem. Maybe you 
read the recent BusinessWeek 
article. Y2K Is Worse Than 
Anyone Thought. Probably 
not. Why do I have to do your 
homework for you? Anyway, 
the gist of the article was that 
our major corporations are fi- 
nally beginning to understand 
how serious the little com- 
puter bug can be for them and 
they're substantially tipping 
their remediation budgets. The 
total Y2K cost now has gone 
over $ I trillion! Company ex- 
ecutives are beginning to 
panic as they realize that 
they've sent some boys to do 
a man's job. And one thing 
they can't stop is the ticking 
of the clock. Not even The 
Zipper can do that. 

Economists are predicting 
a major stock market reces- 
sion. So what will happen if 
enough people believe this 
and want to Lt get out of the 
market before the crash," 
looking to keep from losing 
their investments, and also to 
be in a position to buy back in 
when stocks are low? The 
market only goes up when 
there are more buyers than 
sellers. A panic could result 
in millions of sellers and no 
buyers. Crash ! 

Having been around in 
1929 and the depression years 

of the *3Qs. I remember that it 
look World War I! lo pull us 
out of the mess Congress got 
us into. 

Hey, maybe if w r e ignore it, 
Y2K will go away. But just 
in case, have you got an 
emergency rig handy? 


Hamburgers have elbowed 
hot dogs and apple pie from 
the head of the American 
food chain. Well, it's no won- 
der almost everyone loves 
hamburgers. They're juicy 
and delicious. They also are a 
deadly concoction as far as 
your body is concerned. 

How so? Well the beef is 
made from cows who have 
been fed growth hormones to 
speed their growth. They're 
fed the most fattening diet 
known to farmers because fat 
tastes good. It helps make the 
hamburgers juicy. But you 
also get a good slug of those 
hormones with your meat 
patty. You also get the adrena- 
line the cow generates when it 
is scared out of its wits as it is 
being killed. The hamburger 
roll is made of white flour, 
which has had every bit of 
nutrition removed. It has zero 
food value- That tiny shred of 
lettuce has almost no nutri- 
tive value either The slice of 
pickle is from a dead cucum- 
ber soaked in brine. It also 
provides zero nutrition. 

The meal is thoroughly 
cooked so all the germs it has 
gathered (e.g., salmonella) 
along the way will get killed. 
McDonald's doesn't want the 
bad publicity killing its cus- 
tomers quickly would gener- 
ate. The human digestive sys- 
tem is not well equipped to 
digest cooked meat, so it 
tends to pass through the sys- 
tem, leaving its toxins and 
contributing most of the bad 
smells that we have to use 
Airwick to kill in the bath- 
room. The worse the smell, 
by the way, die more toxic the 
stuff you've been eating. 

Say. have you read Robin 
Cook's Toxin? It has to do 
with a young girl dying a hor- 
rible death from E. coli after 
eating a hamburger, and the 
efforts of the restaurant chain 
and the meat industry to 

73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 61 

cover up the situation. The 
book might even discourage 
you from eating so many 

Advice for Septuagenarians 

With such a high percent- 
age of the response to my last 
guest shot on the Art Bell 
show being from people in 
i heir 70s, I got to thinking 
about the special problem se- 
niors have. Many are living 
on Social Insecurity, plus 
small pensions, unless ihey 
were downsized before their 
pensions could kick in. Bui 
no matter the circumstances, 
most seniors are interested in 
how i hey can make some extra 

Beyond ihe aye of 50, it is 
very difficult to ever get em- 
ployment again. You're too 
old. So even people in their 
50s are looking for money- 
making ideas. Indeed, there 
are thousands of scam artists 
out there trailing bait, looking 
to take advantage of this 
mushrooming group. 

Yes. of course I have some 
advice for you, if you're a se- 
nior, or for you to pass along. 
if you know any seniors who 
need extra money. 

Well, firstly, unless you've 
led a truly wasted life, you 
should, by now, be an expert 
in something. Thus you have 
the potential to cither teach or 
advise others (a.k.a, consult- 
ing). One of the best ways to 
teach is to write a book. Then 
comes the question of how to 
promote and sell the book. 
My preference is by mail or- 
der You can gel the word out 
via a Web page on the 
Internet, through new product 
releases to appropriate maga- 
zines, and through book re- 
views in the magazines. I 
have a video which explains 
how to do things like that. 

Articles published in maga- 
zines will also establish you 
as an expert. That "11 help sell 
your book and also help get 
you consulting work. 

If you've managed to work 
for 30 to 40 years without 
learning anything, maybe it's 
time to break the ice and start 
learning something. Tve found 
that a year or two of serious 
reading and asking questions 

can make a person an expert in 
all iii ist an\ field that interests 
them. Even nuclear physics. 

When I got interested in 
horseback ridins. I took les- 
sons and then more lessons. I 
read everything I could find. I 
got good enough to show horees. 
teach instructors, and was 
even asked to ride Ringling 
Brother's star performer. Star- 
lit Night. I've a Professor of 
Horsemanship certificate. Brag- 
ging? Of course, but I wanted 
to prove a point. 

When I got interested in 
skiing, I took lessons until I 
was able to handle even the 
most difficult of trails. 

When it comes to learning, 
persistence counts far more 
than brains. Please, if you 
can, show me one member of 
Mensa who is successful in 

Of course, if you abuse 
your body with poisons, poor 
nutrition, and dehydration, 
vou re soina to be hobblins 
around in a rest home in vour 
70s, not skiing Aspen with 
me. And yotrre going to have 
a lot more trouble selling 
your lifetime of expertise to 
people. You start out with 
pretty much the same model 
Ixidy as everyone else, so it's 
what you do in the way of 
maintenance that's going to 
count later on — just as it 
docs with your car. 

Reviewers Needed 

Between the tons (well, 
bushels) of mail resulting 
from my talk radio interviews 
and my procrastination on 
taking a super speed reading 
course, Fm pitifully backed 
up on reading "books you re- 
ally should read" so I can 
review them for you. 

And that put me in mind of 
the system I used when I was 
publishing CD Review maga- 
zine, There I asked the read- 
ers to review any new CDs 
they'd bought and rate them. 
The result was millions of 
ratings, which I dutifully re- 
ported in the magazine, and 
then compiled later for a cata- 
log of all issued CDs, so in 
addition to the normal CD in- 
formation, I also had the 
reader ratings listed. One re- 
sult of all this work was that 
my readers were spending an 

average of $30 million a 
month buying the CDs I was 
recommending. The other re- 
suit was that the six major 
labels (five foreign-owned \ 
hated my magazine because 
we couldn't be bought or co- 
erced. But they still had to ad- 
vertise, even though we gave 
many of their CDs lousy rat- 
ings. Well, Tve always been 
that way. When I published 
80-Micro t about the Radio 
Shack TRS-80, once they 
tried to influence what I was 
publishing, I refused to let 
them advertise any more. 
They sent an executive team 
to visit me, promising to be- 
have, so I let them advertise 
again. Then, a couple months 
later, more pressure, so I told 
them that was that. No more 
advertising. Well, it was only 
four to six pages a month at 
about S3 ,000 or so a page. 

Oh. dam, there I go off on a 
tangent again. 

Anyway, what I had in 
mind was that if vou run 
across a book that vou feel 
the readers (and I) are crazy if 
we don't read please don't 
put the monkey on tin back 
to read it and write a review. 
Write a review and send it to 
me. If you convince me, I'll 
publish it in 73. If you really 
convince me. I'll gel a copy, 
read it, and add a review to 
my Secret Guide to Wisdom, 
What's in it for you, other 
than knowing that you've 
helped a lot of people'' Well, 
how about a minuscule bribe 
of a $ 10 credit toward buying 
my books. 

There are a zillion books 
out there, but a painfully 
small number of them are re* 
ally worth reading. I'm look- 
ing for books that will help 
me and my readers under- 
stand themselves, the world, 
and what we can do to im- 
pro\e it, and to improve lheir 
lives* Let's keep this to iruly 
exciting books, okay? Surprise 


The presidential hopefuls 
have been (locking to New 
Hampshire, as they do every 
four years. Steve Forbes was 
up here with his socks off, test- 
ing the icy February waters. So 

I had dinner with him. Well, 
to be honest about it, so did a 
couple hundred others, when 
Steve gave a talk to the 
Hudson Chamber of Com- 
merce. But it gave me an op- 
portunity to say hello, remind 
him of the compact disc I 
made for Forbes a few years 
ago, and the dinner we had 
together on his yacht. He said 
he remembered, hut I suspect 
he was just being agreeable. I 
took the opportunity to slip 
him a summary of a new ap- 
proach to campaigning which 
I think could keep him on 
the from pages for the next 
year. I was: not surprised when 
nothing came of it. Loser 

Anyway, I got to talking 
with the chap silting next to 
me and. you're going to find 
this hard to believe, but the 
subject of Y2K came up. He 
said that he thought it wasn't 
anything to worry about. Pro- 
grammers will be able to fix 
the date problem in lime. Mu- 
sic to my ears. Love it. 

I reminded him of the time 
a couple years ago when a 
branch fell across a power 
line in a remote area and it 
collapsed the entire western 
power grid for hours. And the 
time the East Coast went black 
when a small power station in 
Ontario had a problem. I 
asked him what he thought 
might happen if the national 
grid failed. This would stop 
almost everything. No trains, 
no planes, no Lias pumps 
working, no telephone, no 
cash registers in food stores, 
and so on. Without trains 
there would be no coal for 
generating power, and 75^ of 
our pow r er is made from coal. 
No businesses could operate, 
no banks, and so on. How 
could the government, with- 
out communications, get the 
power turned back on? It's a 
house of cards. 

So what happens to the 7 
million people in New York 
and all the other cities with 
no power, no food, no water, 
and no police? Maybe for 

I think 1 worried him. 

Minimum Wages 

With our labor union 

Continued on page 64 

62 73 1 Amateur Radio Today ■ September 1999 

Here are some of my books which 
can change your life (if you'll let 
'emh If the idea of being health v. 
wealth) and "ise interests you, start 
read hi g. Yes, you can be all that, hut 
only when you know the secrets 
which I've spent a lifetime uncover- 



The BioehTlrifier Handbook: This 
explains how to build or buy ($155 1 a 
little electrical gadget that can help 
clean the blood of any virus, microbe, 
parasite, fungus or yeas I. The process 
was discovered by scientists at the 
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. 
quickly patented, and hushed up. It's 
curing AIDS, hepatitis C and a bunch 
of other serious illnesses. The circuit 
can be buili lor under 520 from the in- 
structions in the book. $10 (01) 
The Secret Guide to Wisdom: This 
i^ a review of around a hundred books 
that will help you change your life. No, 
1 don't sell these books. They're on a 


wide ran^e of subject and will help 
to make vou a very inieresiin*? person 
Wait* II you see some of the gems 
you've missed reading, 55 (02) 
The Secret (iuide to Wealth: Just as 
with health. vou II find that you have 
been brainwashed by "ihe s\ stem'" into 
a pattern of li le thai w 1 1 1 keep you Iroi n 
ever making much money and having 
the freedom to travel ant! J< i w hat vou 
want. 1 explain how anyone can get a 
dream j oh with no college, no resume, 
and even wiihoul any experience. 1 
explain how you can get someone to 
happily pay vou to learn w hai you need 
to know to stan your own business S5 

The Secret Guide to Health: Yes, 
there really is a secret to regaining your 
health and adding 30 to 60 years of 
liealihy living to your life. Tlie answer is 
simple, but it means making some dif- 
ficult lifestyle changes. Will you be 
skiing the slopes of Aspen with me 
when you* re 90 or doddering around 
a nursing home? Or pushing up dai- 
sies? No, I'm not selling any health 
products, $5 (04) 

My WWII Submarine Adventures: 
Yes. I spent from I £43 1 945 on a sub- 
marine, right in the middle of the war 
with Japan. We almost got sunk several 
limes, and iw ice I was in ihe right place 
at the right time to save the hoal. 
What's it really like to be depth 
charged? And what's die daily life 
aboard a submarine like? How about 
the Amelia Earhan inside story 'II 
you're near Mobile, please visit the 
Drum. S5 ( 10) 

Travel Diaries: You can travel amaz- 
ingly inexpensively -once you know 

theropesjEnjoy Sheny and my budget vis- 
its to Europe, Russia, and a bunch of 
other interesting places. How about a 
first class flight to Munich, a rented 
Audi, driving to visit Vienna, Krakow 
in Pi da nth and the famous salt mines), 
Prague, back to Munich, and ihe first 
class flight home lor two. all for under 
S I T 000. Yes. w hen you know bow you 
can travel inexpensively, and still stay- 
in first class hotels. $5 (11) 
Wav lie's Caribbean Ad ventures: 
More budget travel stories - where 1 
visit the hams and scuba dive most of 
the islands of the Caribbean. Like the 
special Li at fare w hi eh allowed us to 
vi>ii II countries in 21 days, with me 
diving all but one of the islands. 
Guadeloupe, where the hams kepi me 
too busy with parlies. $5 (12) 
Cold Fusion Overview: This is both 
a brief history of cold fusion, which 1 
predict will be one of the largest in- 
dustries in the world in the 21st cen- 
tury, plus a simple explanation of how 
and why it works. This new field is 
goine u> generate a whole new bunch 
of billionaires, just as the personal 
computer industry did. £5 (20) 
Cold Fusion Journal: Thev Liu died 
when I predicted the PC industry 
srowih in 1975. PCs are now die third 
largest industry in the world. The cold 
fusion ground floor is still wide open, 
but then that might mean giving up 
watching ball games, Sample: $10(22). 
Julian Schwinger: A Nobel lauriate's 
talk about cold fusion — continuing its 
validity. $2 |24) 

Improving State Government Here 
are 24 w avs that state governments can 
cut expenses enormously, while pro- 
viding far better service. I explain how 
any government bureau or department 
can be entten to em it s expenses by at 
least 50*5 in three vears and do it co- 


operative!} 1 and enthusiastically. 1 ex- 
plain how. by applying a ncu technol- 
ogy, the state can make it po^ible to 
provide all needed services without 
having to levy any taxes at all I Read 
the book, run for your legislature, and 
lets get busy making this country work- 
like its founders wanted it to Don't 
leave this for "someone else** to do. 55 

Mankind's Extinction Predictions: If 

any one of the experts who have writ- 
ten books predicting a soon-io-corne 
catas l r oph e wh i c h w ill v i ilun 1 \ y w i pe 
us alt out are right we're in trouble. In 
mis book I explain about the various 
disaster scenarios, from Nostradamus, 
who says the poles will soon shift* wip- 
ing utii 91% of mankind, to Sai Baba. 
who has recently warned his followers 
to gel out of Japan and Australia hefore 
December 6 di this year. The worst part 
of these predictions is the accuracy 
record of some of the experts. Will it 
be a pole shift, a new ice age, a mas- 
sive solar flare, a comet or asteroid, a 
bioterrorist arrack, or even Y2K? I'm 
getting ready, how about you? S5 (3 h 

\li.Hjndoj!}>k' Mter reading Rene's 
book, NASA Mooned America* I read 
everything 1 could find on our Moon 
landings. I watched the videos, looked 
ne fully at ihe photos, read the 
astronaut's biographies, and talked 
with some of my readers who worked 
for NASA. This book cites 25 good 
reasons I believe the w hole Apollo pro- 
gram had to have been faked 55 (30) 
Classical Music Guide: A list of 10O 
CDs which will provide you with an 
outstanding collection of the finest 
classical music ever written. This is 
what you need to help you reduce 
stress. Classical music also raises 
young>ier's IQs, helps plants grow 
taster, and will make you healthier Just 
wait' II vou hear some of GoLschaUVs fahu- 
bus music! $5 (33) 

The Radar Govern p: Is police radar 
dangerous' 1 Ross Adey K6UL a world 
authority, confirms the dangers of ra 
dio and magnetic fields, S3 <34) 
Three Gat to Talks: A prize-w inning 
teacher explains what's wrong with 
American schools and why our kids are 
not being educated. Wiry are Swedish 
youngsters, who start school at 7 years 
of a^e. leaving our kids in the du-^t ' 
Our kids are intentionally being 
dumbed down by our school system 
— Ihe leas! effective and most expen 
sive in the world S5 (35) 
Aspartame: ak.a. NutraSweet, the 
siurT indiet drinks, etc., can cause all 
kinds of serious health problems, Mul- 
hple sclerosis, for one Read all ahoui 
it, three pamphlets for a buck OS) 
One Hour CW Using this sneaky 
method even you can learn the Morse 
Code in one hour and pass that dumb 
5 wpm Tech Plus ham test, $5 (40) 
Code Tape CIS): This tape will icach 
you the letters, numbers and punctual inn 
you need to know if you arc going on to 
learn the code at I3or20wpm. S5i-11 1 
Code Tape (TI3i: Once you know the 
code for the letters <4Ij vou can go 
immediately to copying 13 wpm code 
(using my system). This should only 
lake two or three days. $5 (42) 
( nde Tape (T20): Start right out at 20 
wpm and master it in a weekend tor 
your Extra Class license, S5 (43) 

Wayne Talks Not at Dayton: This is 

a 90-minuie rape of the talk I'd have 
given at the Dayton, if invited. $5 (50) 
Wayne Talks at Tnmpa: This is ihe 
talk 1 gave at the Tampa Global Sci- 
ences conference, 1 cover cold fusion. 
amateur radio, health, books you 
should read- and so on. $5 (5 1 I 
Si Million Sales Video: How to gen- 
crate extra million in sales using PR. 
This will he one of the best investments 
your business ever made. $43 (52) 
Rep rin Is i >f \ h Fxlit orials rrui n 73. 
Grist 1: 50 of my best non-ham oriented 
editorials from before 1997. S5 (71 > 
Grist IT 50 more choice non-ham edi- 
torials from before 1 997. $5 (72) 

1997 Editorials: 1 4h pages. 216 edito- 
rials discussing health, ideas for new 
businesses, exciting new books I've dis- 
covered, ways to cure our country's 
more serious problems, flight 800, the 
Oklahoma Cilv bombing, more Moon 
madness, and so on. S10 (74) 

1 998 Editorials: 1 68 pages thai' II give 
you lots of control er-ial mints lo talk 
about on the air. SI (75 1 

Silver Wire Willi two V pieces of 
heavy pure silver wire + three 9V bat- 
teries you can make a thousand dol- 
lars worth of silver colloid. What do 
vou do with it? It does what the antibi- 
otics do, but germs cant adapt to it. 
Use it to get rid of germs on food, for 
skin fungus, wans, and even to drink, 
Read some books on ihe uses of silver 
colloid, ifs like magic, $15 (8(h 
Wayne's Bell Sav er Kit. The cable and 
instructions enabling you to inexpen- 
sively lane Art Bell VVoOBBs nightly 
5-hr radio talk show. S5 (83 I 
Stuff I didn't write , h ut you need: 
NASA Mooned America: Rene 
makes an air-tighL case thai NASA 
faked die Moon landings. Tln> book 
will convince even you. $25 (90) 
Last Skeptic of Science: This is 
Rene's book where he debunks a 
bunch of accepted scientific beliefs - 
such as the ice a^es, the Earth beim; a mag- 
net, the Moon causing the tides* and etc. 


Dark Moon: 568 pages of carefully 
researched proof that the Apollo Moon 
landings were a hoa.v $35 <*E > 

Wayne Green 

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73 Amateur Radio Today • September 1999 63 

Number 64 on your Feedback card 

Barter 'n' Buy 

Turn your old ham and computer gear into cash now, Sure, you can 
wait for a hamfest to try and dump it but you know you'll get a far 
more realistic price if you have it out where 100,000 active ham po- 
tential buyers can see it, rather than the few hundred local hams who 
come by a flea market table. Check your attic, garage, cellar and 
closet shelves and get cash for your ham and computer gear before 
iTs too old to sell. You know you're not going to use it again, so why 
teave it for your widow to throw out? That stuff isn t getting any younger! 
The 73 Flea Market, Barter W Buy. costs you peanuts (almost)— 
comes to 35 cents a word for individual {noncommercsal!) ads and 
S1 .00 a word for commercial ads. Don't plan on telling a iong story. 
Use abbreviations, cram it in. But be honest. There are plenty of hams 
who love to fix things, so if it doesn t work, say so. 
Make your list, count the words, including your call, address and phone 
number. Include a check or your credit card number and expiration, If 
you're placing a commercial ad, include an additional phone number, 
separate from your ad. 

This is a monthly magazine, not a daily newspaper so figure a couple 
months before the action starts; then be prepared. If you get too many 
calls, you priced it low. If you don't get many calls, too high. 
So get busy, Blow the dust off. check everything out, make sure it still 
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gel busy on your computer and put together a list of small gear/parts 
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Send your ads and payment to: 73 Magazine, Barter V 
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Neiier shv die 

continued from page 62 

\>is spending what it takes to 
convince Congress to increase 
the minimum wage, the wel- 
fare of the public is, as usual* 
being lost in the process. Re- 
liable studies have shown that 
when the minimum wage is 
raised, il destroys jobs for un- 
skilled workers — who are 
mainly teenagers and young 
adults. It also increases the 
number of families below the 
poverty line. The net effect of 
increasing the minimum wage 
is to increase poverty rather 
than decrease it. 

The last time the minimum 
w r age was increased, 380,000 
young workers lost their jobs, 
and that was almost 1 0% of the 
workers affected by the legis- 
lated wage increase. Thanks, 
Congress. And thank you. 
voters, for ignoring what your 
supposed representatives are 
doing with your money. 

Have I got my facts 
straight? Check Fortune, Oc- 
tober 12, 1998, page 66. 

I see that Bill Gates, who is 
suffering from the mountains 
of bad publicity the Microsoft 
ami-monopoly trial and his 
testimony have caused, has 

his PR learn working over* 
lime to repair the damage. 
First it was a golf club com- 
mercial on TV. 1 somehow 
doubt thai Bill needed the 
money, so there must have 
been some other reason for 
that. Then there was his ap- 
pearance on the Roste O' Don- 
ne 11 Show, And now he's giv- 
ing $K)U million to help vac- 
cinate people in developing 
countries. And that, in gen- 
eral, means Africa. 

Getting through the insulat- 
ing layers protecting Bill from 
the rest of the world isn't 
easy, but I wish someone 
could clue him in about the 
reality of inoculations. There 
are several weil-rcsearched 
books on the subject, and 
they all say the same thing — 
inoculations are a scam — a 
S40 billion scam. Worse, 
there's strong evidence that 
AIDS was spread in Africa 
when millions were given TB 
vaccinations. Well, read Dr. 
William Douglass' book on 
the subject. And. as far as 
vaccinations being of value, 
please at least read the book 
hv Dr. Walcnc James, hnmu- 
nization — The Reality Be- 
hind the Myth. Yes, Tve re- 
viewed it in a past editorial 
and it's in my Secret Guide to 
Wisdom (page 5). 

64 73 Amateur Radio Today * September 1999 


1 60-10 Meters PLUS 6 Meter Transceiver 


reasons why your next HF 
ver should be a JST-245. . , 








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AUTOMATIC ANTENNA TUNER • Auto tuner included as 
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QRM SUPPRESSION • Other interference rejection features 
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uation, IF notch filter, selectable AGC and alf-mode squelch. 






NOTCH TRACKING • Once tuned, the IF notch filter will track the 
offending heterodyne ( ± 10 Khz) if the VFO frequency is changed. 

DOS PHASE LOCK LOOP SYSTEM • A single-crystal Direct 
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CW FEATURES • Full break-in operation, variable CW pitch built 
in electronic keyer up to 60 wpm. 

DUAL VFOs * Two separate VFOs for split-frequency operation. 
Memory registers store most recent VFO frequency, mode, band- 
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200 MEMORIES ■ Memory capacity of 200 channels, each of 
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the-art DSP transceiver with the 
processing power and graphics 
capabilities of your PC and you'll 
soon wonder why all radios 
aren't designed this way. Why 
settle for a tiny LCD display 
when your computer monitor can 
simultaneously show band 
activity, antenna impedance, 
heat sink temperature. SWR, 
forward and/or reflected power 
and a host of other information? 

16/24 Bit DSP/DDS 
Performance In addition to 
1 00% computer control, the 
Kachina 505DSP offers 
exceptional 16/24 bit DSP/DDS 
performance. IF stage DSP. 
' bnck-wair digital filtering, 
adaptive notch filters and digital 
noise reduction, combined with 
low in-band IMD and high 
signal-to-noise ratio, produce an 

r vvr: 

excellent sounding receiver. 
Sophisticated DSP technology 
achieves performance levels 
unimaginable in the analog 
world. The transmitter also 
benefits from precise 1 6/24 bit 
processing. Excellent carrier and 
opposite^sideband suppression 
is obtained using superior 
phasing-method algorithms. The 
RF compressor will add tots of 
punch to your transmitted signal 
without adding lots of bandwidth, 
and the TX equalizer will allow 
you to tailor your transmitted 
audio for more highs or lows. 

The Kachina 
505DSP Computer 


d Works with any Computer 
Running Windows 3.1, 95 
or NT 

I Covers all Amateur HF 
Bands plus General 
Coverage Receiver 

IF Stage 16/24 Bit Digital 
Signal Processing (DSP) 

■ II DSP Bandpass Filter 
Widths from 100 Hz to 3.5 
kHz (6 kHz in AM Mode) 

l Band Activity Display with 
M Pomt and Click" 
Frequency Tuning 

- On-screen Antenna 
"Smith 11 Chart, Logging 

Software and Help Menus 

■ Automatic Frequency 
Calibration from,WWV or 
Other External Standard 

■ 'Snapshot Keys for 
Instant Recall of 
Frequencies and Settings 

Optional Internal Antenna 

Seeing is Believing 

American-made and designed, 
and able to stand on its own 
against the world's best, the 
505DSP is bound to set the 
standard for all that follow- But 
don't take our word for it. 
Visit our website at 
for detailed specifications, to 
download a demo version of our 
control software, or to see a 
current list of Kachina dealers 
displaying demonstration models 
in their showrooms- 

m s i ww 


P.O. Box 1949, Cottonwood, Arizona 86326. U.S.A. 
Fax: (520) 634-8053, Tel (520) 634-7828 
E-Mail sales @